Sea Life Aquarium says that Paul the Octopus who gained worldwide fame with his perfect World Cup predictions has died. He was 2 1/2.
Aquarium spokeswoman Ariane Vieregge in Oberhausen said Tuesday that Paul seemed fine when checked on late Monday night but was found dead in his tank Tuesday morning.
She says that it was normal for an octopus of his type to die at that age and that he had died of natural causes, according to The Associated Press.
German fans were not amused when he chose Spain over Germany in the semi-finals in July, leading to threats that featured octopus menu ideas. Still, the oracle continued to receive wide attention after the World Cup.
"Paul inspired people of all continents," the aquarium's general manager, Stefan Porwoll, said in the statement. "He won all our hearts, and we will sorely miss him."
Paul's tank was adorned with the flags of World Cup countries and a replica trophy recalls his successes. Spanish visitors grateful for his foresight flocked to the aquarium. A book deal, a movie contract and endorsements followed.
The octopus even stoked international tension when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the West of attempting to "manipulate people's minds through superstition, an octopus, fortune-telling and such things."
Paul's remains will be cremated, Bloomberg reports.
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