World Cup oracle animals
Do you remember Paul, the Octopus? He was the star of the 2010 World Cup, being able to guess the winner of Germany’s matches. He also guessed the winner of the final. His career started with Euro 2008, and saw him go on to correctly predict 11 out of 13 matches. He used to choose between two boxes containing food with the national flags of each team involved in every match. Unfortunately, he died in the end of 2010.
Paul was not alone. Even Harry the Crocodile guessed the 2010 World Cup winner. Moreover, he was able to predict two consecutive Australian Federal Election results. Nevertheless, he never had the appeal of the German octopus. Neither did Mani do better, a Singapore parrot who guessed all the quarters and semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup, because he failed to guess who would have succeeded between Spain and the Netherlands in the final.
Since Paul’s untimely departure, there has been great competition over who will take his crown. During Euro 2012, there were three animals playing this game: Citta, an Indian elephant living in a zoo in Krakow, Poland; Fred, the Ukrainian ferret who can be followed on Twitter; and Funtik, the Ukrainian soothsayer hog able to correctly predict 2 out of 3 matches.
Who will take the place of Paul the Octopus during the next World Cup? Will it be the parrot blessed by Pope Francis in Saint Peter’s Square, now a star of the Italian national public broadcaster? Or will it be Nelly, the German elephant who has correctly predicted 30 out of 33 match results to date? And of course, do not underestimate the psychic powers of the panda cub supported by Chinese state media.
The Italian parrot named Amore (Italian for love) will give his prediction by choosing the flag of the winning team on a miniature football field. Nelly prefers to predict winners by kicking a ball into either one of the nets with the flags of the competing countries placed before them. Instead, the panda cub will guess the outcome of matches by picking food from boxes marked with flags during the group matches and by climbing a tree flying a flag in the knockout rounds.
Do you have a pet? Would he or she be able to do better? How? Let them give it a shot!