Paul the octopus correctly predicted the result of the match Uruguay vs. Germany. Coincidence? FIFA rankings tell the story!


 Some football experts believe that ‘Paul the Octopus’ at the Sea Life aquarium, Oberhausen – Germany – became the true star of the FIFA World Cup tournament 2010. His fame was established by predicting correctly the outcome of all 7 World Cup matches played by Germany + the final. But how revealing are psychic Paul’s results really?

[tweetmeme source=”handresearch” only_single=false] Paul started his ‘track record’ at the Euro football championships 2008 by predicting correctly 4 out of 6 of the matches played by Germany. Combined with the 2010 World Championships Paul’s results look quite impressive: 12 out 14 predictions were to be correct.

Germany’s football results are not surprizing! 

Anyone who follows international football knows that Germany has a pretty impressive track record at World Championships – by fact: Germany won the FIFA World Cup title three times. 

However,  the FIFA World Rankings are much more revealing!  Actually, anyone who choose to bet his money simply on the team with the highest ranking had an excellent result. For, out of the 13 games played by Germany the FIFA ranking correctly predicted the outcome of 11 matches. Exactly the same result as the ‘performance’ of our 8-armed friend!

And the same pattern is true for Paul’s only match where Germany was not involved: Paul correctly choose Spain in favourite of The Netherlands – but the FIFA World Ranking was a reliable predictor again as well!


Did Sea Life fool Oberhausen the footbal world?

No, there is no reaon to blame Sealife for sharing Paul’s predictions. But one can observe a very clear ‘pattern’ in Paul’s predictions: during the 2008 tournament Paul choose always Germany, and basically he continued this pattern during the 2010 tournament – with only 2 exceptions. 

Why did Paul so many times choose Germany? First of all, octopuses are known for their high intelligence, including an excellent short- and longterm memory. So, that could easily explain why Germany was chosen by Paul so many times: in 11 out 13 games.

And on top of that it is likely that Paul made his choices due to certain aspects of the stimuli that were presented to him. But beyond the colors of the German flag, it is hard to find any color pattern in Paul’s choices, exept… that in 13 out of 14 choices made by Paul the lower half of the chosen flag is lighter than the upper half. 

For example:

The most surprizing prediction made by Paul was the loss of Germany against Serbia (2010) and Croatia (2008). Could the flags of Serbia and Croatia provide a ‘clue’ about why Paul was attracted to these flags? You can decide yourself…




Why did Paul chose for Serbia above Germany, but prefered Germany instead of Croatia? The theory of the ‘lighter lower half’ provides an answer. Coincidence? 

Though this theory doesn’t explain why Paul choose  different results for the two matches between Germany & Spain: but Paul predicted only one of those matches correct. Likely an unsolvable puzzle…  

Psychic Paul’s final prediction!

Regarding Paul’s final prediction for the final – if Paul is indeed attracted by the flag with the ‘lighter lower half’, how revealing is it really that Paul correctly choose Spain as the winner of the tournament? The flag of The Netherlands has a ‘lighter UPPER half’.




Remember, according the FIFA World Rankings Spain had to win the tournament!

So, even BEFORE the final match between The Netherlands and Spain is played – we already knew that Paul’s predictions on the matches would not be able beat the expected outcome of those matches according the FIFA World Rankings.

And while ‘flag color’ predicted the correct outcome of 13 out of 14 matches, of course any relationship between flag color and football results … is based on a ‘spurious’ correlation!!!

So, it would be rather foolish to use this color theory presented in this article as a new predictor for the next world champion.

Your thoughts are welcome… by the way, experts say that an octopus has 6 arms and 2 legs!!


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FIFA World Cup 1986 - Diego Maradona's hand of God.


[tweetmeme source=”handresearch” only_single=false] Maradona initially denied that he had scored his first goal in the match Argentina against England with his bare hands. Maradona said: “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.”

The historical moment in the history of FIFA World Cup footballbecame known as the “Hand of God,” or “la mano de Dios.”

Ultimately, on 22 August 2005 Maradona acknowledged on his television show that he had hit the ball with his hand purposely, and that he immediately knew the goal was illegitimate. The goal stood, much to the wrath of the English players.

FIFA World Cup 2010 - Luis Suarez's hand of God.

FIFA World Cup 2010:

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez said “the ‘Hand Of God’ now belongs to me” after his goal-line handball helped his country reach the World Cup semi-finals.

The striker punched Adiyah’s goal-bound header to deny Ghana what would have proved to be the extra-time winner. Asamoah Gyan missed the ensuing penalty and Uruguay went on to win a shoot-out.

As a consequence of his ‘hand of God’, Suarez now misses the semi-final match against The Netherlands – where he became the 2010 top scorer in the Dutch football competion for his club Ajax – Amsterdam! 


Can finger length predict the new FIFA World Cup winner?
The Finger Book’ by John T. Manning!
Jamaicans have the long ring finger: the story of Usain Bolt!
Finger length linked with football ability in professional players from Brazil!
BANGKOK POST: Science lifts lid on the length of a player’s finger length & his football ability!

How to win the FIFA World Cup.Pele is known as the best football player ever.


[tweetmeme source=”handresearch” only_single=false] Sony Pictures Television International has sold the soccer documentary “How To Win The FIFA World Cup” to a host of international broadcasters. In the documentary new scientific research from The Netherlands (Bernard Krikke, 2010) points out that according DMA-analysis Brazil has the best chance to win the World Cup 2010. Interestingly, the talent of Brazilian football players to become an outperformer was also confirmed by finger length research by British ‘finger professor’ John Manning!


Bernard Krikke + fellow researchers from the University of Groningen analysed 28,400 minutes of football matches including over 250,000 moment from the fields during World Cup games (from 1990 to 2006). According their DMA-analysis (based on: Defense Midfield Attack) Brazil is most likely to win the 2010 tournament, France might become the runner-up, and The Netherlands + Germany are most likely to play for Bronze.

The full documentary can be streamed from: RTL’s ‘Wie wint the FIFA WK voetbal’


Brazil’s footballing prowess may have more to do with the players’ finger lengths than their training schedule or their ‘hunger’ to succeed, say scientist John Manning from the University of Liverpool.

At the 12th Commonwealth International Sport Conference, held in Manchester in the lead-up to the recent Commonwealth Games, Dr John Manning reported on studies suggesting that one simple physical feature offers an accurate means of predicting future footballing ability. It kicks in in the womb and can be seen from birth.

In collaboration with colleagues Dr Rogan Taylor and Dr Peter Bundred, John Manning measured the digits of amateur footballers from UK local leagues and professional footballers from the Brazilian first division club Internacional of Porto Alegre. He found a low ratio between the index finger and the ring finger in all the footballers, but the ratio was much lower in the professional players.

Kaká’s left hand ‘digit ratio’ appears to be close to 0.90, will be beome the next Brazilian Golden Ball winner?
The hand of Brazilian football player Kaká.

Manning explains in his second book ‘The Finger Book‘ (2008):

“In collaboration with Rogan Taylor and senior coach João Paulo Medina, I was recently fortunate enough to measure the finger ratios of a Brazilian First Division side, Sport Club International of Porto Alegra.”

“The hands of ninety-nine players were photocopied, of whom thirty-three were members of the senior playing staff. This group of players had an average left-hand finger ratio of 0.93, more masculined than English football’s ‘League Legends’. The first-team squad consisted of twenty players with an even lower average finger ratio of 0.92, and thirteen reserves with a mean ratio of 0.96. Considering the first-team squad, six players had astonishingly low ratios of below 0.90. This group included a forward with a ratio of 0.885, who was subsequently transferred to Barcelona for a fee reported to be in excess of $12 million.”

The biggest unanswered question is… who has the Brazilian football player that was transfered to Barcelona for $12M?

Anyway, according Manning’s theory Brazilian football player Kaká – who has a digit ratio of close to 0.90 – has a good chance to become the 8th Brazilian winner of the Golden Ball since 1930.

A final impressive factual illustration of Brazil’s talent for football:

Brazil is the only country that was able to win the Word Cup 5x, but even more impressive… in the history of football only 12 players were able to win the ‘Golden Ball’ when the tournament was not played in the home country of the player – six of those players were Brazilians: Leonidas, Didi, Garrincha, Pelé, Romário & Ronaldo (the list of non-brazilian names is also impressive: Ferenc Puskás, Johan Cruijff, Paolo Rossi, Diego Maradona, Oliver Kahn & Zinedine Zidane).

Can finger length predict the new FIFA World Cup winner?
‘The Finger Book’ by John T. Manning!
Jamaicans have the long ring finger: the story of Usain Bolt!
How fingers relate to: evolution, behavior, disease, sex and sports!
The FIFA World Cup 2010 football squad from Brazil.