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COLOGNE, Germany — Soccer fans around the world are flying their flags at half mast in memory of Paul the psychic octopus, the cephalopod that became a media sensation after correctly predicting the outcome of all of Germany’s World Cup matches. Paul was found dead Tuesday in his tank at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen.
An army of international journalists hungry for a human interest story flocked to Oberhausen during the World Cup. Paul’s predictions were broadcast live on German TV and picked up by channels and web sites around the world. German newsweekly Der Spiegel called him the “true star of the World Cup” and he even had a YouTube song composed in his honor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftUvfi1J0QI).
Paul became a national hero in Spain after correctly predicting Spain would beat the Netherlands to win their first World Cup. The Madrid Zoo offered to acquire Paul for a heavy transfer fee and several top Spanish octopi to be named later.
But not everyone was a fan. On the eve of Argentina’s game against Germany, which he predicted Germany would win, Argentine TV carried recipes to turn Paul into paella. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad singled out the poor octopus in a speech, condemning him as a tool of western decadence and propaganda.
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