Paul the psychic octopus became an international celebrity when he correctly predicted the results of eight successive World Cup matches – including Spain’s triumph over Holland – at odds of 300-1.

Of course, TNT knows that this is because Paul the octopus is a gen-u-ine psychic genius, but others have raised some doubts. 

Discovery News quoted Alan Peters, invertebrate curator at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, as saying:

“Particularly among invertebrates, octopi are very intelligent, but that intelligence can be defined in different ways. Predictive power I don’t think is part of that.”

According to Peters, octopi are visually oriented.

“Maybe there’s some similarities on all the flags that the octopus chose. You could really dig into this deep if you wanted to tease out why this happened,” he said.

“The flags could help uncover the mystery, Octopi can detect differences in shapes and patterns, as well as colours.”

Peters continued: “They don’t see colour like we do but they can tell the differences between different colours. It’s just that their brain doesn’t say ‘red here and yellow there,’ it says ‘these two things are different.'”

So how did Paul the psychic octopus predict so many World Cup results?

“It could have been just random luck,” said Peters. “However, that in no way means these animals are not intelligent in ways we still have to understand.

“And to me that’s what’s cool about it. You start to realize they are in a different world, and live in a different world, and interact with it differently than us. And then we try to impose our world on it. So they’re always sort of surprising us”, Peters said.

Bah, don’t let them piss on your parade Paul. You’ll always be the psychic octopus to us!

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