Friday, July 9, 2010

Paul, the Psychic Octopus Receives Death Threats...

Fri Jul 9, 5:44 am ET
BERLIN (AFP) – Paul the oracle octopus has predicted that Germany will beat Uruguay in the World Cup third-place play-off on Saturday, but is now the target of death threats from angry German fans.

The octopus, who has become a World Cup sensation by correctly predicting all six Germany games, plumped for his country of residence on Friday, carried live on national television.

The two-year-old mollusc medium then took a rest before predicting the result of the final between Spain and the Netherlands.

Football predicting has become a dangerous job for the English-born Paul however with some bitter German fans threatening to turn him into sushi after he predicted a semi-final defeat for the German team.

Paul's home, an aquarium in western Germany, has received death-threat emails saying "we want Paul for the pan," said entertainment supervisor Daniel Fey.

"Since yesterday our colleagues have kept a very close eye on Paul," Fey added.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero hinted at octopus bodyguards. "I am concerned for the octopus ... I am thinking of sending him a protective team," joked Zapatero on Radio Cadena Ser.

Spanish Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian has called for the creature to be given an "immediate" free transfer to Spain to "ensure his protection."

Stung by Paul's "treachery" at picking Spain over Germany in the semi-final, some sections of the 350,000-strong crowd watching the game on giant screens in Berlin sang anti-octopus songs.

Friday's prediction is expected to be the last for Paul, who in octopus terms is a pensioner, at the grand old age of two-and-a-half. Octopuses generally live three years at the latest.

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