Google is paying tribute to the 2014 World Cup on its homepage with a Doodle, as it usually does whenever a significant event, holiday, or anniversary is upon us. However, in its hat tip to the month-long soccer tournament, Google is also remembering a very unconventional, but very memorable sports figure: an Octopus named Paul that “predicted” the winners of soccer matches.
The Doodle shows Paul the Octopus living life in heaven, trying to decide the winner between Brazil vs. Mexico (a game that’s currently in progress). If you click on the image of Paul the Octopus, you’ll be taken to a page that gives you a brief summary of the game that’s currently ongoing, including match statistics, full lineup for each team, what group they’re in, and more. Earlier, when Belgium and Algeria were facing off against one another, the Doodle reflected that, with Paul trying to pick a winner between those two squads.
Now for a little background on Paul. Paul the Octopus lived life in the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany. Paul achieved international fame when he predicted the results a few matches in the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament, as well as the 2010 World Cup.
So how’d the decision making process go? Well, as is the case with most animals, when you want to get one to do something, you use food. Every time he was sought out for a prediction, Paul was presented with two boxes each with grub inside. Each of these boxes was marked with the flag of the team that was playing in an upcoming match. Most of the outcomes that Paul predicted usually had Germany as one of the participants. Paul died in October 2010.
The World Cup will last roughly until the middle of July, but Google Doodles typically are put up only for a day. We can’t help but wonder whether Google will continue to pay tribute to the tournament, or if this is just a one-day affair.