I’m not sure why, but we seem to have an interest in letting animals predict our football results. Previously in 2010 we had Paul the Octopus. This time we have Nika the Polar Bear.
For the 2010 World Cup, Paul the Octopus was used as a sort of “animal oracle” for all the games Germany was involved in, and the Netherlands vs Spain final. To get Paul to make his prediction, his keepers would present him with two boxes of food.
They were both identical apart from the decoration which represented the flag of each contestant in the game. Whichever box Paul ate from was considered his prediction on who would win the match.
Astonishingly, every single prediction that he made turned out to be correct. Paul appeared to predict Germany’s victories, as well as their two losses. He also predicted Spain’s victory of the cup that year, which he got right.
Unfortunately, Paul passed away later that year at 2-and-a-half-years-old – a normal lifespan for his species.
A new Animal Oracle
This brings us on to Paul’s potential successor. Nika the Polar Bear was rescued after being injured and wandering off the usual polar bear migration route. Her alleged “psychic” abilities are what kept her alive, according to the locals who found her.
Apparently, Nika seems to know what day cleaners are coming, whether she’ll get ordinary or delicious food, and can “sense new balls coming her way”. Because of all this, she is officially recognized as FIFA’s animal oracle.
Nika predicted Mexico will win over Portugal for their Confed Cup game, in a similar process to how Paul made his predictions with decorated food containers. However, we now know that game came to a draw. Not the best start.
Her next prediction is that for the Australia vs Germany game, Australia will be defeated. We’ll have to wait and see later today.