Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mystery of Pulpo Paul - The Oracle Octopus

Vidit Bhargava
Paul? Who doesn't know about the little kid entertainer from Germany. I dunno what made his trainer, make Paul Predict the outcome of football matches, but I do know how he predicted them!

To start with let's know who this Octopus is : Paul is a common octopus living in a tank at a Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, who is an animal oracle and now retired predictor of football matches, usually international matches in which Germany was playing.

I think that extract from Wikipedia should be enough! And I know you all know what an octopus is. As a matter of fact he is from the species of : Octopus Vulgaris (Ah, no I don't know much about it, except the fact that they are highly intelligent).

So lets come to the point. How did Paul predict the outcome of all German matches correctly? I shall tell them in the form of theories. Which our scientists have entitled as possibilities. (and none includes him being Physic or Physcokenitic).

Theory 1:
This is a matter of mere chance. Paul's predictions can be referred to those of flipping coins. Means, its just like flipping the coin and predicting the outcome, none of which involves much brains. So a normal octopus can do this perfectly well.

Theory 2:
This is the most convincing theory I've seen. This also involves chance (it is basic to any theory we have heard or will hear). The theory 2 is actually based on 'Potential Bias'. It is evident that Paul has been biased to Gemany in many matches. 'Except a few' but there is more.

Paul, is an Octopus Vulgaris, who are in all probability Color blind. However they do understand brightness and are queerly attracted towards Striped images (or stripped flags in this case.). We can see Germany has vivid Stripes in their flags. Compared to other countries, Australia, Ghana, England, Uruguay, and Argentina (which has stripes, however, as i mentioned before Germany is still more vibrant than him.).

With Serbia the stripes had a particularly Dark color and were natural more vivid to the Octopus. This made the Octopus choose Serbia over his favorite Germany.

And when Paul was said to predict whether Spain or Germany will win the Semi Finals, he got confused which explains the theory even more clearly. Paul, had been confused in the similarities of Flags, however he soon recognized that Spain with its more vibrant broad stripes was more vivid. So he chose Spain.

Vyacheslav Bisikov, a Russian biologist admits that octopuses can get attracted towards Striped Flags.

Other Theories:
Other theories also based on Potential Bias suggest that the Octopus, was trained to smell the water of the two boxes and chose one accordingly.

Another potential bias may be spatial preference or related factors such as light intensity. On six out of seven predictions for the World Cup (no information about Germany-Australia) the octopus chose the right-hand box (from the camera point of view), skipping only the box with the English flag. On four out of six predictions, the German flag was also on the right-hand box, the exceptions being matches with England and Spain. Thus choosing which flag would be placed on the right-hand box may have influenced the predictions.

So, all you guys thinking him being Physic are wrong here. Although this octopus had performed well this year in the FIFA World Cup. He did predict in the Euro Cup and lost two matches. This justifies are saying its Chance. And since all studying him have agreed on one point, he practices Potential Bias.

However, Since Paul has retired now and Paul predicted one match at a time. Its not possible for the scientists to make a thorough research on him.

But for now lets just Agree on the most confident theory of all : Theory 2: The theory of Stripped Flags. Who knows extra research could reveal surprising results of Physic evidence and make room for new fields of Wide Research or they could as simple as flipping a coin and predicting the outcome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that makes sense