Clairvoyant animals who guess winners from Lionesses’ meerkats to psychic pig
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Paul the Octopus has a lot to answer for.
Ever since the tentacular creature correctly predicted the result of eight matches at the 2010 World Cup, football has seen an explosion of animal oracles.
From parakeets to pigs and cats to elephants, there’s now a mystical menagerie of animals great and small who their owners claim can see into the future.
READ MORE: Mystic meerkats who predicted England's Euros success say Lionesses will go all the way
The latest to emerge are a group of meerkats who are backing England's Lionesses to go all the way in the Women's Euros.
They've joined the following clairvoyant creatures who turned their hands, paws, tentacles and claws to predicting football results.
Mystic meerkats at Drusillas Park in Sussex have been correctly predicting the Lionesses route to the Women's Euros final having backed them to beat Spain in the quarter-finals and Sweden in the semis.
They've been offered two buckets of treats with the teams' flags on and the one surrounded by the most meerkats is the predicted winner. Ahead of the Wembley showdown against Germany, they've once again backed Sarina Wiegman's side to bring football home.
Zookeeper Jacinta Dawe said: "Our team have been so impressed by England's performances and team spirit, so it's been great to get behind the squad and show our support. Although we wish both teams luck on Sunday – it would be incredible for The Lionesses to win as the meerkats have predicted!"
What's your prediction for the Women's Euros final? Let us know in the comments section.
Paul the Octopus
Paul the Octopus is the original psychic animal, but like all good tournament players, it took him a while to get into the groove. Before the 2010 World Cup, Weymouth-born Paul could only predict four results out of six correctly at Euro 2008.
But in South Africa, the spiritual sea-dweller came into his own, getting all eight of his predictions spot on. Paul made his predictions by selecting one of two boxes decorated with flags of the countries competing in a particular match.
He even knew that England would lose to Germany in the round-of-16 – but then so did we after about 30 minutes.
Mani the parakeet
Mani the parakeet shared a stage with Paul the Octopus at the 2010 World Cup, but the green-feathered guru wasn’t quite as successful.
After correctly predicting the result of all four quarter-finals, he came unstuck in the semi-final as Netherlands beat Uruguay 3-2. He rediscovered the winning thread for Germany vs Spain, but Spain’s win over Netherlands in the final caused him to slip up again.
Marcus the psychic pig
Psychic Marcus was a black micro pig who made his predictions by picking out an apple from a bunch that had been labelled with a team flag.
Marcus achieved national fame after appearing on This Morning but came in for criticism after incorrectly guessing the result of England v Croatia.
Farmer and micro pig breeder Juliette from Heage, Derbyshire, told the Daily Mail: "Marcus is the seventh child of a seventh child and apparently they're gifted with special powers so maybe that's where it comes from."
Rabio the octopus
Japanese punters would have been squids in after backing the predictions of Rabio the octopus at the 2018 World Cup. Rabio correctly predicted the results of all Japan’s group stage games before meeting an unfortunate end.
Not content with their mystic mollusc, Rabio’s owners chopped him up and turned him into seafood before the round-of-16. RIP.
Nelly the elephant
Germany’s unofficial oracle at Euro 2012 packed a punch with her predictions by kicking a ball into one of two goals at the Serengeti-Park in the northern German city of Hodenhagen.
Despite wild claims about her incredible success rate, Nelly fell short when it mattered most after predicting Germany to overcome Italy in the semi-final. Italy won the match 2-1 before going on to lose to Spain in the final.
Achilles the cat
Feline forecaster Achilles the cat made his predictions at the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup – but they were far from purrrrfect.
Cats may have nine lives, but Achilles used two of them up pretty quickly after incorrectly guessing the result of Nigeria v Argentina and Sweden v Switzerland. He did nail Russia to beat Saudi Arabia, but then, who didn't?
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