Paul, Psychic World Cup Octopus, Picks Spain and Germany as Winners in Final Games

There are only two matches left in the 2010 World Cup. Saturday's game between Germany and Uruguay will determine who takes third place, and Sunday is the final showdown: Spain vs. the Netherlands. Paul, the oracle octopus that has correctly called the outcome of each of Germany's six matches, has made his final predictions. 

On Friday, Paul indicated that Spain will win it all, lifting the World Cup trophy for the first time ever. (When presented with two identical clear boxes, each containing a mussel, but one adorned with Spain's flag and the other bearing Holland's flag, he gobbled down the treat from Spain's container first).

He also chose his home country, Germany, over Uruguay, in today's consolation game. Paul lives at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany. UPDATE, 7/10: Paul was correct again, Germany beat Uruguay 3-2.

Paul isn't the only incredible octopus, though he may be the most famous. Octopi are among, if not the, most intelligent invertebrates; they have both short- and long-term memories, and are adept at finding their way through mazes.

To keep the creatures mentally stimulated in aquariums, keepers often give them toys and play games. Mavis, a giant Pacific octopus that resides at the Weymouth Sea Life Park in England, is particularly fond of the Rubik's Cube. And as you can see in the video below, Indonesia's veined octopus ingeniously builds its home out of coconut shells. Pretty handy, huh?

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