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World Cup oracle octopus Paul dies

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Paul correctly predicted the winners of all Germany's World Cup clashes
  • He died of natural causes
  • His fame spawned clothing lines and mobile phone apps

Berlin, Germany (CNN) -- Paul the Octopus, who correctly predicted the outcome of games during this year's World Cup soccer tournament, has died.

The eight-tentacled cephalopod oracle died of natural causes, the aquarium where he lived said Tuesday. He was 2 and a half.

"We are consoled by the knowledge that he enjoyed a good life here ..." said Stefan Porwoll, manager of the Oberhausen Sea Life Center in western Germany. "We had all naturally grown fond of him and he will be sorely missed."

Paul enthralled millions of people around the world by correctly predicting the outcome of several World Cup matches this year.

The life and times of Paul the Octopus in images

Video: Remembering Paul the Octopus
Video: Octopus picks Spain to win
Video: Online reaction to octopus

His caretakers set him up to make predictions for a particular match by draping boxes in his tank with the national flags of teams that were set to play each other. The boxes contained octopus food. The caretakers divined Paul's pick by watching to see which box he opened first.

"Paul amazed the world by correctly predicting the winners of all Germany's World Cup clashes, and then of the final," Porwoll said in a statement.

His prescience attracted a legion of news reporters and photographers. It also inspired a special clothing line and mobile phone applications, the center said. A documentary film on Paul is scheduled to debut soon. And donations made in Paul's name helped pay for a permanent sea turtle rescue center on the Greek island of Zakynthos.

The sea center has Paul's body in cold storage as it finalizes funeral plans.

"We may decide to give Paul his own small burial plot within our grounds and erect a modest permanent shrine," Porwoll said. "While this may seem a curious thing to do for a sea creature, Paul achieved such popularity during his short life that it may be deemed the most appropriate course of action."