Paul the octopus is retiring after his last correct prediction, that Spain would win the world cup. It’s exceeding unlikely he’ll be alive at the next World Cup anyway, so it’s probably a wise decision on Paul’s part.
The odds of him correctly picking the outcomes of 8 world cup matches are obviously quite low (1/256), but what I love about the internet is that plenty of people on his wiki page have their thoughts on potential biases. 1/256 is about 0.4%, which actually isn’t that small. It’s between 2 and 3 standard deviations away from the peak of a Gaussian.
Word on the street is physicists like their data to be in the five standard deviation range portion of that graph before they’ll call it a finding, so I’m obviously speaking tongue-in-cheek when I talk about our new cephalopod overlords.
I’m also wondering how many other less successful prognosticating animals were out there. I’d bet Paul made the news because ~255 other animals didn’t. I’m glad it was a mollusk of course, but I also would have loved it if the world had fallen for Darlene the Tapir or some other equally awesome animal. And yes, this may be just an excuse to add a photo of a baby tapir, because I love them so.