Nostradamus Octopus An Expensive Pet
Octopus Paul predicted Spain’s win over the Dutch. Overwhelmed by the prediction, the chefs in Spain have removed octopus dishes from their menu. The players from Spain have given him a pet name called Pablo. It has become the darling of the Spaniards. On the other hand, the Germans have become its foes. They are finding a variety of dishes to be made by the octopus. The spectators from Spain started singing songs against the poor creature.
He was able to predict the winners of all the six matches that Germany played in the World Cup. He stunned German fans when he presaged that their team would lose to Serbia. He predicted Germany’s win over England and Argentina. Two clear plastic boxes containing food and flags of two countries attached to the boxes are lowered in the aquarium tank. The container selected by the hungry octopus is predicted to be the winner of the match.
He has become the most talked about topics all over the world. He is an online phenomenon and currently one of the top ten global trends on twitters. He only failed once when he predicted Germany over Spain during the Euro 2008. Because of the magical prophecies this time during the World Cup 2010, he shot to fame.
His brief history is given in all the channels of electronic as well as print media that he was born in 2008 at Waymouth Sea Life Park in Dorset England. He had some extraordinary qualities which attracted a German Scientist and brought him to Germany. According to the Scientist, the octopus in general is very clever and intelligent. This one in particular possessed some extra intelligence and sixth sense.
The Indian media is not lagging behind. They have christened him “Octopus baba” and “Pandit octopus”. All the channels (including news channels) are making sensational stories. One news channel went to the extent of telling that supari is given to kill the octopus. He is wanted.
It is observed by some that it is always jumping on to the box that is to its left. It may be a chance that always the left side box contains the flag that wins. It is just by fluke. The media hype is so much that some media persons are standing next to the octopus before the start of the match and showing the live telecast of the prediction. The media persons are standing next to the tank and giving the latest information. Overnight the octopus has become a celebrity. After Spain won the match as predicted by the octopus has definitely become a soothsayer. It should be given a trophy then.
Paul got a competetor. A parakeet called Mani from Singapore. Mani has also correctly predicted the winners of the quarter-final and semi-finals. But it does not get any death threat as no team of Singapore represents in World Cup.
Some skeptics especially the rationalists’ variety looked down upon the octopus prophecies as gimmicks. They say that such happenings should not be over publicised in the electronic and print media, as there is chance of spreading blind beliefs and superstitions in the minds of innocent and gullible people. Besides, they also say that such media-hyped pridictions do not have any varifiable scientific basis.
Though, there is no Indian team in the FIFA World Cup, there are many Indians in South Africa to watch the match. Now Indians want the octopus as a pet. Many children and students are flocking the pet shops requesting the owners to get them an octopus pet. Seeing him make all those predictions many people wished they could lay their hands on one such psychic possession. The owners of these shops do not know much about the oracle so how can they get without having any information about the pet which they are selling is what they say. The life span of the oracle is only 2 or to the maximum of 3 years. Weather conditions should be favourable. With a short life span, changes in the concentration of the ideal nitrate content in an aquarium’s water can kill the octopus.
It is very expensive to maintain the octopus. A very difficult pet and consumes lot of time, money and energy. They have to be given some work all the time. The owner has to match up to their level. It should always be kept engaged by giving new challenges. They are highly intelligent with complex nervous system. New challenges keeps their brain stimulated and keep them active and away from boredom. Keeping octopus is banned according to the convention of International Trade in endangered Species. Even the PETA activists do not seem to approve an octopus as pet. According to them keeping these animals at home as pets, is cruelty. They need enough space to move around and are not suitable for confinement. PETA is also demanding the release of Paul.
In India, octopus is found in the Gulf of Kutch, Lakshadweep, Andamans and Mannar. Indian government does not advocate their sale. The only way to procure an octopus is to import them. The bite of octopus is not fatal, but it is poisonous.
The post-FIFA octopus obsession may give rise to illegal trade and may even endanger the species.
By N Suguna