You could be forgiven for thinking that the Spanish football team are the stars of the 2010 football World Cup. Their honest football won over the Dutch team’s spoiling tactics and earned them a well deserved victory.

But it is not the players I am referring to, nor is it to Harold Webb the English referee who, with his officials, managed the game so well. And I am definitely not referring to those droning vuvuzelas either.


No the true and most unlikely stars are ‘Paul the octopus’ aka ‘Oracle Octopus’ and Meena Kutti, an eight year old Indian parakeet.

What did these two do to gain such plaudits. Well, they correctly predicted the outcome of the World Cup final.

Meena Kutti the parakeet was given two envelopes from which to choose and chose the correct one. Its owner is MC Mohan, a fortune teller who said to the Sunday Times "Meena is one of a kind and is always accurate in her predictions."

But the most astounding was Paul the octopus. His predictions came true a staggering eight times out of eight.

Now the octopus is well renowned for its abilities to learn. Just go on YouTube and you can see how versatile they are. They have been known to unscrew jars to get at the crab inside.

Originally from Weymouth, Paul now lives in a large tank in Germany. For the last eight games before the match he was offered food from inside two clear plastic boxes, each with the flag of a team on it. Each time Paul chose the winning team.

Paul was originally used to track the progress of the German team, but once they were knocked out then he was asked to predict the remaining games.

Well, there’s two animals that will be well looked after for a long time to come. Unless disgruntled bookies put out a contract on them of course.

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