Paul the Octopus

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Jaco Schoeman, 12 Jul 2010.

  1. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Okey, I can't find any other threads on this, so forgive me if this has already been done... Most (if not all of us ) heard about the Germans "Paul the Octopus" who predicts soccer score outcomes.

    Well, here is a bit of info on the eight legged animal, courtesy of Wikipedia...

    Paul (octopus)

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (Redirected from Paul the Octopus)
    [​IMG]
    Paul the Octopus[​IMG]
    Paul in his tank, next to a football boot with the german flag coloursOther appellation(s)Paul Oktopus, Paul der KrakeSpecies OctopusvulcarisSexMaleBornJanuary 2008
    Weymouth, DorsetOccupationExhibit, Psychic Football PunditKnown forPredicting results of Germany's football matchesOwnerSea Life Centres (aquarium keeper: Oliver Walenciak)Named afterA poem by Boy Lornsen, Der Tintenfisch Paul OktopusPaul (hatched January 2008) is a common octopus living in a tank at a Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, who is used as an animal oracle to predict the results of football matches, usually international matches in which Germany is playing. He came to worldwide attention with his accurate predictions in the 2010 World Cup.
    During a divination, Paul is presented with two boxes containing food in the form of a mussel, each marked with the flag of a national football team in an upcoming match. He chose the box with the flag of the winning team in four of Germany's six Euro 2008 matches, and in all seven of their matches in the 2010 World Cup. He correctly predicted a win for Spain against the Netherlands in the World Cup final on 11 July by eating the mussel in the box with the Spanish flag on it. His predictions have thus been 100% (8/8) correct for the 2010 World Cup and 86% (12/14) correct overall.
    Life

    Paul was hatched from an egg at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth, England, then moved to a tank at one of the chain's centres in Oberhausen, Germany. His name derives from the title of a poem by the German children's writer Boy Lornsen: Der Tintenfisch Paul Oktopus.
    The animal rights organization PETA have argued that it would be cruel to keep Paul in permanent confinement. Sea Life Centres have responded that it would be dangerous to release him, because he was born in captivity, and is not accustomed to finding food for himself.
    According to DPA, local businessmen in Carballiño, a community in Galicia (Spain) collected about 30,000 Euro "Transfer fee" to get Paul as main attraction of the local Fiesta del Pulpo festival.[6] Manuel Pazo, a fisherman and head of the local business club made assurances that Paul would be presented alive in a tank and not on the menu. Sea Life Centres rejected the offer nevertheless.[7]
    Divination

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The two plastic boxes which are presented to Paul. The food items are visible in the left-hand corners.


    Paul's career as an oracle began during the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament. In the lead-up to Germany's international football matches, Paul is presented with two clear plastic boxes, each containing food: a mussel or an oyster. Each container is marked with the flag of a team, one the flag of Germany, and the other the flag of Germany's opponent. The box which Paul opens first (and eats the contents of) is judged to be the predicted winner of the game.
    Paul's apparent success is comparable to a run of luck when tossing a coin. This connection has been made by Professor Chris Budd of the University of Bath, Professor David Spiegelharter of Cambridge University, and Etienne Roquain of Pierre and Marie Curie University.
    Under the hypothesis that Paul is equally likely to choose the winner or the loser of a match, and neglecting the possibility of a draw, he has a 1/2 chance of predicting a single result and a 1/64 chance of predicting six in a row. This feat would be unlikely, but not nearly as unlikely as winning the UK lottery, a chance of 1/14 million. Spiegelharter and Roquain point out that there are "other animals that have attempted but failed to predict the outcome of football matches"; it is not remarkable that one animal is more successful than the others, and only the successful animals will gain public attention after the fact. However, if Paul or other octopeds felt attracted for whatever reasons to the flagged boxes of Germany or Spain, their predections would be much more exact than tossing a coin. This applies only for ongoing interantional football tournaments but would fail for any other question.


    Potential biases

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    Germany (11)

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    Spain (2)

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    Serbia (1)

    Flags picked by Paul​


    Roquain goes on to admit that chance is not necessarily the only explanation for Paul's choices. He could be choosing boxes systematically—if not on the basis of football expertise, then perhaps on his evaluation of the countries' flags or the food offered.
    The species Octopus vulgaris is almost certainly color blind; neither behavioral studies nor electroretinogram experiments show any discrimination of a color's hue. Nonetheless, individuals can distinguish brightness as well as an object's size, shape, and orientation. Shelagh Malham of Bangor University states that they are drawn to horizontal shapes, and indeed, there are horizontal stripes on the flags he has chosen. The flag of Germany, a bold tricolor consisting of three equal horizontal bands of black, red and gold, is Paul's usual favorite. But the flag of Spain, with its broad yellow stripe, and the flag of Serbia, with its contrast of blue and white, are more vivid still, possibly explaining why Paul picked those countries over Germany. Fey suggested that Paul was confused by the similarities between the German and Spanish flags; this was on July 6, when Fey expressed hope that Paul's latest pick would be wrong.
    Matthew Fuller, the senior aquarist at the Weymouth park, judged the flag-shape theory to be plausible: "[Octopuses] are the most intelligent of all the invertebrates and studies have shown they are able to distinguish shapes and patterns so maybe he’s able to recognise flags." Vyacheslav Bisikov, a Russian biologist, agrees that it is possible for an octopus to become attracted to a striped flag. However, Pascal Coutant, director of the La Rochelle Aquarium states: "It's complete chance that guides his choices."
    Octopus vulgaris is also equipped with sensitive chemoreceptors on its tentacles, which are used to taste food and "smell" the water. Biologist Volker Miske, of the University of Greifswald, suggests that minor chemical differences on the surface of each box might account for Paul's decisions. Bisikov states that Paul could be "easily trained" to choose the right box by smell. According to Paul's keepers, there are holes in the jars to help him choose.
    Theories of his behavior could be systematically tested if Paul were to repeat his selection many times, but he only selects one box per game. A scientific experiment would be more vigilant towards sources of bias, including the flag visuals and potential differences in the preparation of the food.



    In UEFA Euro 2008, Paul correctly predicted the outcome of 4 out of 6 of Germany's matches. He failed to predict their defeats by Croatia in the group stage, and by Spain in the championship's final.
    2010 FIFA World Cup

    Paul's accurate choices for the 2010 World Cup, broadcast live by German news channel NTV, have endowed him with celebrity status. Paul predicted the winners of each of the seven 2010 FIFA World Cup matches that the German team played, against Australia, Serbia, Ghana, England, Argentina, Spain, and Uruguay. His prediction that Argentina would lose prompted Argentine chef Nicolas Bedorrou to post an octopus recipe on Facebook.
    There are always people who want to eat our octopus but he is not shy and we are here to protect him as well. He will survive.
    —Oliver Walenciak (Paul's keeper)
    Paul correctly predicted the outcome of the semi-final, by choosing the food in the box marked with the Spanish flag. German supporters drew hope from his incorrect choice for the Germany versus Spain match in the UEFA Euro 2008 but were disappointed. The prediction led to death threats as German fans called for Paul to be cooked and eaten. In response, Spanish prime minister Jose Zapatero jokingly offered to send Paul official state protection, and the Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian called for Paul to be given safe haven in Spain. Paul maintained a 100% accurate record during the tournament by correctly predicting Spain's victory over the Netherlands in the final.
     
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  3. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Results involving Germany to follow...
     
  4. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    ha ha i heard about this on 5fm and just never got around to googling it :) thanks
     
  7. clinton stanford

    clinton stanford

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    thats pretty awesome hey!
     
  8. Boegie

    Boegie

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    Great info thanks. I thought he's going to be wrong yesterday because I support the Dutchman.
     
  9. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    statistically him getting all the right calls for the would cup is something like 3000 to 1 i heard in Aus today
     
  10. PoPe_G

    PoPe_G

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    FRANKFURT, Germany — Paul the Octopus, the tentacled tipster who fascinated football fans by correctly predicting results at this year's World Cup, died Tuesday.
    Paul had reached the octopus old age of 2½ years and died in his tank on Tuesday morning in an aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, spokeswoman Ariane Vieregge said.
    Paul seemed to be in good shape when he was checked late Monday, but he did not make it through the night. He died of natural causes, Vieregge added.
    After rising to global prominence during the World Cup in South Africa in June and July, Paul retired from the predictions business after the final between Spain and the Netherlands — the result of which he also forecast correctly — and returned to his prime role of making children happy.
    The invertebrate was stepping "back from the official oracle business," Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, told AP Television News at the time.
    "He won't give any more oracle predictions — either in football, nor in politics, lifestyle or economy," she said. "Paul will get back to his former job, namely making children laugh."
    Paul correctly predicted the outcomes of all seven of Germany's World Cup games. He made his predictions by opening the lid of one of two clear plastic boxes, each containing a mussel and bearing a team flag.
    After his World Cup soothsaying skills were revealed, the English-born Paul was appointed an ambassador to England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup. He had English roots, having been hatched at Weymouth Sea Life Center on England's south coast in 2008.
    Imitators sprang up all over the world, including Mani the Parakeet in Singapore and Lorenzo the Parrot in Hannover, Germany.

    http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/local/Paul_the_octopus_who_nailed_World_Cup_pick_dies_at_2_.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BmtEnterprise_TwitterFeed+%28LocalNews-TwitterFeed%29&utm_content=FaceBook
     
  11. jumboswart

    jumboswart

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    RIP
     
  12. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Too bad never liked him anyway
     
    Last edited: 26 Oct 2010
  13. magman

    magman

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    I remember this octopus nearly broke the bookies in the world cup, he cost them big money
     
  14. Hill

    Hill

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    I am sure there was a hit out on him.....:lol:
     
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