World Cup psychic Paul the Octopus may have been replaced by an imposter

Conspiracy theories have swirled around Paul the Octopus, including claims the psychic squid had been replaced by an imposter.

Paul became the world's most famous cephalopod in 2010 when he correctly predicted Spain would win the World Cup. That was not all, though, with the octopus also correctly choosing the winning team in four of Germany's six Euro 2008 matches and all seven of their games in the 2010 World Cup campaign.

In total, the Weymouth-born mollusc got 12 out of 14 results bang on – a success rate of 85.7%. Alas, all epic tales must come to an end and just months after helping Spain to the World Cup – Paul died.

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However, the director of Who Killed Paul the Octopus?, Jiang Xiao, insists there is foul play a-tentacle – and Paul had been dead for months. Xiao insists the octopus died in July and he was secretly replaced at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre in Germany.

She said: "[Octopuses] all look the same. It is impossible to tell the difference.

"We have been keeping in touch with the German aquarium ever since the beginning [of production] but it seemed to me that they were afraid," she said. "The movie is about unveiling the inside story behind the octopus miracle, so they felt nervous.

"For the movie, we had done quite a lot of investigation and I am 60% to 70% sure that Paul died on 9 July [two days before the World Cup final] and the Germans have been covering up his death and fooling us for a long time."

However, Jiang's claims were met with scorn in Germany, with a spokesperson for the aquarium saying: "It's certainly not true that Paul died in the summer.

"We can absolutely assure you that he died [in October 2010]. He was about two and a half, which is the average age for an octopus. He died a simple and straightforward death."


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