Just as Americans look to the ground hog for signs of what the future holds, German soccer fans have their own animal prophet, Paul the Octopus.
Only this year, they did not like what they saw in Paul's crystal ball.
The eight-legged oracle picked Germany's rival Spain to beat Germany in the quarterfinal, which he was right about, and has now chosen Spain to win the whole World Cup tournament. Germans have reacted by posting death threats and calamari recipes on Twitter and the internet, People reported.
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The "Psychic Octopus" has correctly predicted the winner in all 7 of Germany's World Cup matches, including the team's quarterfinal loss to Spain and their third-place victory over Uruguay. Paul's powers were first noticed in the 2008 European Championship, when he picked the winner 5 out of 6 times.
The sea-dwelling seer makes his predictions from a tank in Oberhausen, Germany. Mussels, a tasty treat for an octopus, are placed inside glass cubes decorated with a country's flag. When Paul chooses which cube to feed from first, he reveals his choice, and possibly, the future.
Paul has been perfect this tournament. Although his recent choices have left many Germans wishing he was an appetizer, he has won new friends on the Iberian Peninsula.
The Spanish government has even extended asylum to the canny cephalopod after his quarterfinal pick, "so that the Germans don't eat him," environmental minister Elena Espinosa said.