Paul the Octopus or Paul Oktopus is a two-year-old common octopus with a history of correctly predicting the results of major German international football matches, especially in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
This total rate of 11 out of 12 games correct constitutes a significant deviation from what flipping a coin would suggest, using a Binomial test. A fair coin would guess at least 11 out of 12 games correctly only 1 time in 315.
Paul was hatched at the Sea Life Park in Weymouth, England but currently resides at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany.
Before German international football matches, Paul is presented with food in two identical containers; one container is marked with the flag of Germany and the other is marked with the flag of Germany’s opponent. In each instance, Paul’s choice of food is interpreted as his predicted victor.
Paul is reported to have correctly chosen the winner in five of Germany’s six UEFA Euro 2008 matches, predicting that Germany would win every match except a loss to Croatia, but incorrectly predicting Germany’s victory over Spain in the final in 2008.
He correctly chose the winner in each of Germany’s six matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, including Germany’s loss to Serbia during the group phase, and a loss to Spain in semifinals.