Posted by: joha5 | October 26, 2010

Paul the Octopus Dies, Global Day of Mourning Announced

Today marks the end of an era.  Paul the Octopus is dead.  In his short – yet spirited – life, Paul managed to touch the world in the most intimate of ways and with his 8 tentacles he captured our imagination and always left us asking for more. 

Paul had reached the ripe old age of 2 1/2 years when he died in his tank on Tuesday morning in an aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, spokeswoman Ariane Vieregge said.  Paul seemed to be in good shape when he was checked late Monday, but he did not make it through the night. He died of natural causes, Vieregge added.

Predictably, the blogosphere has exploded with news of the cephalopod’s death.  Most were sympathetic although some saw him more as a tasty morsel than a departed friend. “Will they cook him Galician-style? I wonder how much a plate of Paul with a beer must cost,” wrote Jordi, alluding to the popularity of octopus as a dish in the northwest Galicia region and much of Spain.  Others were more philosophical on hearing of Paul’s death.  “For the next month I will go to class dressed in mourning, wrapped in a black suit and with my gaze lost in the horizon, as this calamitous event deserves no less,” wrote ‘relojero’ which means watchmaker. Another blogger, Pedro, saw a sinister hand at work. “An autopsy should be carried out, it’s certain some betting office killed him.”

Once Paul attained his status as a global icon, many imposters and imitators followed suit yet none were able to even come close in matching Paul’s expansive reach and influence.  Some of the more notable imitators include Mani the Parakeet in Singapore and Lorenzo the Parrot in Hannover, Germany.  The latest was a saltwater crocodile named Dirty Harry, who predicted Spain’s World Cup final win and called the result of Australia’s general election by snatching a chicken carcass dangling beneath a caricature of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Through it all, however, Paul was a humanitarian at heart.  In the twilight of his days, Paul and his agent worked hard to ensure Paul’s legacy on the Greek island of Zakynthos, where a permanent sea turtle rescue center funded in part by donations generated by the famous octopus is being established.

Paul was more than an octopus.  Paul was an oracle.  He lived fast and died young.  “I never let the societal constraints of being an octopus stop me in achieving my goals” he would think to himself from time to time.     

Please take some time to view and reflect upon the images below of Paul’s more poignant and notable moments.  Rest in peace, Paul.  You lived a life that most can only live in their dreams.

Paul the Octopus training for his eventual glory


Paul was never one for accolades
Obama’s proposed memorial to honor Paul the Octopus

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