Paul’s Favourite Flag

You probably might have heard about Paul the oracle during the 2010 Football world cup games. Paul is an octopus. You might think how was he able to predict the winners of 7 2010 world cup games by choosing food from plastic boxes which had the nation’s flag on them. Football fans might be angry over how an octopus know more football than me. here is a brief para bout the finals.

The Ultimate Prediction

The final was held on 11 July 2010 at Soccer City, Johannesburg. Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0, with an extra time goal from Andrés Iniesta. Iniesta scored the latest winning goal in a FIFA World Cup final (116′). The win gave Spain their first World Cup title, becoming the eighth team to win it. This made them the first new winner without home advantage since Brazil in 1958, and the first team to win the tournament after having lost their opening game.

A large number of fouls were committed in the final match. Referee Howard Webb handed out 14 yellow cards, more than doubling the previous record for this fixture, set when Argentina and West Germany shared six cards in 1986, and John Heitinga of the Netherlands was sent off for receiving a second yellow card. The Netherlands had chances to score, most notably in the 60th minute when Arjen Robben was released by Wesley Sneijder to be one-on-one with Spain’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas, only for Casillas to save the shot with an outstretched leg. For Spain, Sergio Ramos missed a free header from a corner kick when he was unmarked. Iniesta finally broke the deadlock in extra time, scoring a volleyed shot from a pass by Cesc Fàbregas.

Do you think Paul has oracle powers cause he had predicted it correctly? Who would have thought that a final moments goal would turn the tide? Here is science fact. Octopuses are the most intelligent invertebrates. yes, they are spineless. there have been some claims making rounds on the internet that octopuses are not native to earth but are aliens.

In 2008 Paul was able to predict 4 out of 6 games correctly in the European games. in 2010 he was able to predict 8 out of 8 games. That is a total of 12 out of 14.many would consider this statically significant. If I were to toss a coin with an accuracy of 12 out of 14 tosses the chances of this happening is less than 1%. So is Paul a lucky guesser or really psychic?

Paul choosing his favourite striped flag

Paul is neither psychic nor the lucky one. The environment in which the test was conducted was biased, like many other studies that happen around the world. Let us understand how the test was conducted. Paul was given two options to choose from during the munching time. there were two plastic boxes with the nations’ flags glued to them. in every case, before the match, the flags were the nations that were going for a match. each box had an identical snack. the first box Paul eats from is considered the winner. octopuses don’t know shit about football. But they have a good eyesight and a memory. to prove this one independent experiment was conducted where one caretaker would feed the octopus and another caretaker wearing identical clothes would irritate the octopus. after a week of the activity, the octopus was able to distinguish between them by approaching near the one who would feed it and move away from the one who would irritate it.

Spain in Colour
Spain in B&W
Serbia in Colour
Serbia in B&W

Paul is a German octopus. and he predicted games involving mostly Germany .in 11 of the 13 games Paul predicted he picked Germany. Germany won 9 of the 11 games. Octopuses are colour blind but they recognize brightness of horizontal stripes. the flags below have horizontal stripes that were recognized by the octopus. Paul mostly picked the German flag accompanies by the Spanish flag because of the of the similarity of colour and stripes. the only game where Paul chose a non-Spanish or non-German flag was between Germany and Serbia. this was the confounding factor that damages the validity of the experiment. Paul was just choosing his favourite stripped flag after all. And you believed he was a sorcerer.

Germany in Colour
Germany in B&W

Germany – 11 times, Serbia – once, Spain – 2 times

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