Friday, July 9, 2010
The craze around Octopus Paul
The city of Oberhausen in the Ruhr valley has lived a quiet life for long. The city with a population of over 200,000 has not seen anything close to what happened earlier today when Psychic Octopus Paul at the Sea Life Aquarium was ready to pick the winners of for the third place playoff between Germany and Uruguay and the big final on Sunday between the Netherlands and Spain.
Over 120 journalists were present at Sea Life to cover Paul's predictions. Not only journalists from Germany, Spain or the Netherlands were present but from across Europe, from even Brazil, Japan, the USA and even from India.
And it would be a once in a lifetime experience as this is likely Paul's last predictions on a football World Cup as Paul is now two and a half years old and as an octopus has maximum another year to live. Incredible what I have learned about an octopus over the last few days which I hadn't learned many years back in biology.
And today was the climax of Paul's predictions as for the first time the octopus would have to predict two matches and the people at Sea Life where sceptical if Paul would be up to the task, but Paul luckily was as the world was watching. On the first occasion he took his time switching over the German and Uruguayan boxes before deciding that Germany would win and picking his mussel from the German box. About half an hour later Paul was back in action, this time he would have to predict who would win the World Cup. And for the first time he would give his predictions on a match not involving Germany. And this would be a quick one as he decided that Spain would be the new world champions.
For me Paul has meant a lot of work over the last couple of days. And today was the highlight as I had to do live commentary on Indian news channel Times Now on what Paul was choosing or not. First on the Germany vs Uruguay game, where it was like a normal football match as Paul seemed indecisive and switched sides and as I had to talk it felt like a never ending story. Then his quick decision on Spain, but for the onlookers close-by it wasn't that clear and TV replay was needed to say, "Paul has picked Spain to be the new world champions!"
It was a first for me and luckily I had read up some infos on Paul, his life and how he predicts, otherwise I would have been lost on the live telecast. I hope for those of you who where watching it wasn't too boring. Commentating on a football match is much much easier. Believe me...