Oracle octopus predicts Spain success

BERLIN - Football fans across Germany will be hoping a "psychic" cephalopod's fabled skills of prophecy have failed him after Paul the octopus predicted a German loss in their World Cup semi-final with Spain.

With a 100 percent record so far, the British-born aquarium dweller at Sea Life in Oberhausen, western Germany has become a celebrity having correctly predicted a series of German wins and even Germany's surprise group stage loss to Serbia.

On Tuesday, Paul once again was given the choice of picking food from two different plastic containers lowered into his tank - one decorated with a Spanish flag and one with a German flag.

The container which Paul opens first is seen as his pick.

He settled on both containers at first in a sign of hesitation before opening the box with the Spanish flag.

The decision was broadcast live on several news channels in Germany, although commentators immediately cast doubt over the prediction by Paul, who was born in Weymouth, England.

While Paul has been faultless at the World Cup so far, he is not infallible - at Euro 2008 he incorrectly picked Germany as the victor against Spain.

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