The Spanish Prime Minister has jokingly offered state protection for the German octopus that has predicted a slew of correct results of World Cup matches.
The octopus, called Paul by his handlers at the Aquarium Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, predicted the outcome of all six of Germany's matches - including the 1-0 semi-final loss to Spain - by choosing to eat a morsel of food from boxes emblazoned with the flags of the German team and its rivals.
Four times he chose the Germans and they won; twice he plumped for their rivals - and they won too.
Now Spain's politicians are worried some German fans may take their "revenge" on the octopus for their team's exit.
"I am concerned for the octopus ... I am thinking of sending him a protective team," joked Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero on Radio Cadena Ser.
His Environment and Fisheries Minister, Elena Espinosa, also suggested a moratorium on going after Paul.
"On Monday, I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a [fishing] ban on Paul the octopus so the Germans do not eat him!"
Some Germany fans have posted messages on internet forums suggesting that Paul's reward for his clairvoyant powers should be a meeting with the barbecue or the paella pot. One German journalist said after the semi-final that he had "a sudden desire to eat a bit of squid".
That struck a chord with Spanish fans and even ahead of the match Spanish Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian called for the creature to be given an "immediate" free transfer to Spain to "ensure his protection".
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Update: Spanish prime minister offers protection to psychic squid.
My god... psychic squid monsters now control the Spanish government! From News.com.au: