With the World Cup now just days away, a successor has emerged to replace Paul the Octopus, one of the tournament's greatest prediction legends. In 2010, “El Pulpo Paul”, a resident of a German aquarium, correctly predicted the results of eight consecutive World Cup matches by choosing between flags placed on top of boxes containing food, usually a mussel or oyster. Paul's string of success elevated him to Oracle-like status and made him the unlikely star of the competition, which was held in South Africa that year.
He died of natural causes not long after correctly predicting the Spanish victory against the Netherlands in the final match. (see him in action below.)
Now, it's time for a new animal psychic to take his place. According to The Wall Street Journal’s Will Davies, Chinese state media are reporting that a panda cub has been “invited” to predict World Cup results at a giant panda conservation center in Sichuan province. If the panda decides to become a World Cup consultant, it will likely make its predictions by climbing a tree flying a particular flag, or picking flag-marked food like Paul did. The Australian Associated Press reports that there will be more than one cub, and a “crack team” of baby pandas will be used to indicate victorious countries.