Psychic octopus mussels in on Paul’s patch
Thursday 7 Apr 2011 9:44 a.m.
Pavluk - the Russian equivalent of Paul - selected Barcelona as the favourites as they entertain Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie, by picking a mussel out of a perspex box.
The World Cup in South Africa last year produced some wonderful football and the occasional off-field oddity - who could forget Paul, the British-born but German-raised Octopus who put together an impressive record in following Germany through the tournament.
Now it seems that that another psychic cephalopod has emerged from the deep, this time at the Alushta Aquarium in Crimea, Ukraine.
Head keeper Vitaly Stukanov asked 'Pavluk' to look ahead to the Champions League game between Barcelona and Ukranian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.
"We're putting mussels into both containers. We hope that our 'oracle' will predict everything right and will not falter," he says.
It's not precisely known how the Aquarium came to the conclusion that 'Pavluk' - the Russian equivalent of Paul - acquired the powers of prediction attributed to him, but with due reverence, two identical perspex boxes, each containing a mussel, were lowered into Pavluk's tank.
After that, it was all down to mystic matters - soon Pavluk had made his choice, but to the dismay of the locals, he selected Pep Guardiola's Barcelona as the winners of the first leg.
Disappointed onlookers were still determined to support their team though.
Just like Paul before him - rather than the legendary paranormal parrot of Asia, who fell out of favour by predicting that the Netherlands would win the World Cup final, rather than Spain - Pavluk's owners are hoping for a long and successful career for their new star.
Otherwise, they might just be forced to look up the recipe for Octopus carpaccio.
Watch the video for more.