Paul, the now famous octopus which predicted World Cup match winners. (Photo: Stock File)
Could 'psychic' octopus create new business opportunities?
Monday, July 12, 2010, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
For the first time in history, an octopus is the focus of all the international media and not as part of a food recipe or fisheries regulations, but as a "psychic" of sports predictions.
The now famous German octopus named Paul hit 100 per cent of the predictions of World Cup match winners which represents a level of precision of 1 in 128, which until just a couple of days ago many assumed it was pure coincidence or manipulation on the basis of an additive in the water. However, in these moments, there are scientists who began to study the origin of the qualities of "seeing the future."
Paul is a common octopus, which is considered to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates and in experiments conducted in the past, he could distinguish the brightness, size and shape of different objects.
But mathematicians point out that his streak of predictions is not so extraordinary.
As Paul was given the option of predicting two possible outcomes (win or lose, not a tie), had a 1 in 64 chance of predicting the results of six games correctly – a 1 in 2 chance of predicting the first game correctly, then a 1 in 4 chance of predicting the first two games correctly, and 1 in 8 to predict the first three games, and so on.
The chances of correctly predicting all seven games to the end, is 1 in 128.
Obviously, one of the countries that fishes and commercialises octopus the most is Spain, and with more than just winning the FIFA World Cup, some professionals will surely be thinking that its business will extend beyond using live octopus for human consumption, but marketing them as a tool to “read the future.”
What could its price be?
By Michael Loubet