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Paul The Octopus

Updated on June 6, 2014

Paul The Octopus

It is unlikely that there ever has been such a famous octopus as Paul The Octopus. Never has a cephalopod mollusk shot to fame so fast as Paul. An apparent wonderous ability to predict football match winners has turned him into a star. He has become a folk hero in Spain and no doubt will be talked about for generations to come. That Spain won the 2010 World Cup is not going to be forgotten in a hurry. Paul will doubtless get a mention in every World Cup news broadcast for many years to come. It is highly likely that in the future that other predicting Octopi (or Octopuses if you prefer) will make their appearance but whether any will have the luck of Paul The Octopus is anybody's guess.

Because luck is what it was. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Octopus shows an unexpected level of intelligence and can solve quite intricate problems but to believe that Paul could actually predict a future events defies all logic.

The promotion of Paul as a predictive octopus was a brilliant idea. The fact that he made the correct predictions was no more than luck. The real luck was for the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, where Paul lives. No doubt they have seen a huge rise in the number of visitors since Paul shot to fame.

Already Octopus Toys are a popular item and the appearance of people dressed in Octopus Costumes at Fancy Dress Parties are a likely innovation.

PulpoPaul - Paul The Octopus

Photo by:
Photo by:

Paul Will Stay In Germany

Such is the fame of Paul the Octopus that a business man in Spain offered an extraordinary amount of money to purchase him. There is little doubt that he would have earned his money back quite quickly. Madrid Zoo apparently also made an offer and if accepted would have had visitors pouring through the gates.

Paul is staying where he is though in spite of threats to eat him by some disgruntled German football fans. Octopuses are sadly, not very long lived invertebrates (honorary vertebrates under English law) and so it is unlikely that Paul The Octopus will be around for the next World Cup.

Meanwhile Paul the Octopus can bask in his fame. He has even started 'Octopus Fever' in Shanghai, China.

A Question of Octopus Intelligence

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Photo by:

An Octopussy Problem

I once toured an aquarium with a senior member of staff. He told me that some months before that they had been an experiencing a mysterious problem where fish were disappearing from some of the tanks. Each morning there were fish gone without a trace. They suspected that some tropical fish hobbyist was breaking in at night and stealing fish.

In an effort to catch the culprit they set up a number of motion activated cameras. To their amazement they found that moments after the aquarium had closed for the night that their Octopus climbed out of his tank and moved across the floor and up into another tank for a fishy snack. Well before staff returned to work in the morning he had returned to his own tank and sat there with a 'butter would not melt in my mouth' expression on his face. So Octopi are definitley very clever. I wonder how Paul The Octopus would have doubt he would have spotted the cameras and found his way round the problem. 

Paul The Octopus Song

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  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    Healing Touch - thank you. Glad it brightened up your day.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    Cindy - I reckon that should remain a secret but if you read about octopuses you will note that they don't miss much.

  • Healing Touch profile image

    Laura Arne 

    9 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

    This was such a cute read. The video gave me a good chuckle. I needed that today. Thanks.

    Healing touch

  • Cindy Letchworth profile image

    Cindy Letchworth 

    9 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

    Wonderful story, but how did her predict it? Did they have some kind of panel and he pointed to it or what? I'm really curious now.....

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    Alison - Thank you.

  • Alison Graham profile image

    Alison Graham 

    9 years ago from UK

    Great Hub Peter, I really enjoyed the read - and the video!

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    billyaustindillon - He is and will be....though I daresay someone will give a scientific explanation one day.

  • billyaustindillon profile image


    9 years ago

    Very simply put Paul is a legend :)

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    Sally's Trove - Thanks Sally. They are clever....and tasty too. Though I prefer squid.

  • Sally's Trove profile image


    9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

    I had to listen to the song three times. I just kept laughing..."You pick the winner when you eat your dinner."

    A while ago I saw a documentary on the octopus that showed how a female had learned to unscrew the metal cap of a wide-mouthed jar to get the treats inside. It's amazing how quickly and how much they learn in such a short life span.

    Thanks for the great read.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    Hello, hello - I was unaware that a marriage was on the cards...but it is not a bad idea.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    9 years ago from London, UK

    That was a lovley story and thank for sharing. Poor old Paul. When is he getting married?

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    H P Roychoudhury - It is a happy song. I hope it made you did me.

  • H P Roychoudhury profile image

    H P Roychoudhury 

    9 years ago from Guwahati, India

    Paul, The Octopus Song- wonderful.


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