Born January 2008 in Weymouth, England, Paul was transferred to the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany. It was there he was leading the life of a normal octopus, admired by the spectators who visited the aquarium.
But everything changed for Paul during the 2008 UEFA Euro tournament. For the event, two clear containers were placed in his tank: one containing a mussel, the other containing an oyster. One container was marked with the flag of Germany, the other with the flag of Germany's opponent. The aim of the game was that Paul would eat the food item in one of the boxes, and that team would be the predicted winner of one round.
To the amazement of some, Paul's first prediction came true. And so they repeated the process with Germany's new opponent, and the octopus's prediction was again correct. By now, he had become what was probably the most talked about octopus in the world. He continued to predict the outcome of Germany's matches in the tournament, with 4 of 6 matches predicted correctly.
His success continued in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he predicted the winners in all seven of Germany's matches, which were against Australia, England, Ghana, Argentina, Ureguay, Serbia and Spain. He correctly predicted a perfect 7/7, maintaining a 100% accuracy in the competition. Unfortunately for Germany, this meant he predicted their loss to Spain. In the UEFA Euro Tournament, Spain vs Germany was one of the two matches he incorrectly predicted, which gave many fans hope that he had mispredicted again. When the prediction came true and Germany lost, many angered German fans suggested Paul be cooked and eaten, whilst Spanish fans suggested Paul come to Spain for protective custody.
So was Paul really a psychic octopus? Or was it purely a fluke that he continued to correctly predict the outcomes? Many suggest that he may have just been going for his favourite food item, or the flag which was more aesthetically appealing to him. But upon further study, it seems there was no common grounds with the flags; he didn't pick only flags with stripes, or only yellow flags, and scientist have proven to near certainty that octopuses are colourblind.
It is widely known that the octopus along with the squid and other such sea creatures are unlike the other animals in the ocean. Their brains are similar to ours in the matter of problem-solving, as proven in the widely-viewed video of an octopus taking less than three minutes to open a sealed jar containing a crab, so perhaps their brains are actually developed further in some areas, giving them a prognostic talent that we humans do not have.
Reguardless of how he did it, Paul the octopus attracted a lot of attention to himself, and his predictions caused a lot of uproar - one chef from Argentina, upon hearing of Paul's prediction that the team he supported would lose, posted a recipe of facebook about cooking octopus. Despite such disgruntled fans, when news came that Paul had passed away on October 26th of old age, sadness and mourning for the octopus was certainly felt by many. His tank in the aquarium was left empty out of respect, and a condolence book was left near his long-time home for guests to sign.
Rest In Peace, Paul the octopus.