Kudos to Paul the Octopus for selecting Spain as the winner of this year's World Cup (and selecting Germany for third place in Saturday's game). In all, the "psychic" cephalopod correctly—and consecutively—picked eight matches. The Germans hailed him as one of their own until he chose Spain over Germany in the semifinal. Although he was proven right, Germans were demanding Paul be killed—or grilled with just a little oil and garlic to be precise. In fact, security at Sea Life in Oberhausen was boosted over the weekend.
For all his cerebral efforts, Paul was given a replica of the World Cup trophy. He deserves it (and many a bettor couldn't be happier, having trusted this oracle throughout the tournament). Paul's caretakers now say it is time for him to leave the stage and, as a spokeswoman told Reuters, "[return] to his old job—making children smile." Which no doubt he does. After all, who wouldn't like to be under the sea in an octopus's garden in the shade? Well, maybe not this unfortunate shark (thanks to a reader for pointing out this horror).
In any event, Paul is quite old for an octopus at 2 and a half years. He probably would prefer fewer flashbulbs and making those kids smile. In between he'll work on his memoirs. And you just know it would sell. Call it Spineless Genius: The Life and Times of Paul the Octopus.