Who’s Your Favorite World Cup Psychic Animal?

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Yesterday I listened to chants of “It’s coming home!” through my window during the England vs. Columbia match, and while I must confess I pay zero attention to the sport, I am very invested in the success of the psychic animals that predict these match results. It is, by far, my favorite sports-beat coverage: How do these animals get chosen? How good are they at predicting winners and losers? They’re such a fascinating ritual, and I love all of them?!

Some standouts:

There’s England’s Big Bob based in Sunderland, who chooses from three feeding bowls labeled win, lose, or draw. His prediction yesterday was wrong, but the Maori pig is doing his best! The country also has Mystic Marcus, a micro pig who decides by eating apples marked with flags.

The clairvoyant deaf cat Achilles is a fan favorite. He lives at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and had a 100% success rate until he made a wrong prediction at the Argentina vs. Nigeria match. Russia has a number of other “psychic” animals, from a tapir, a lemur, a goat, and an otter, but I am partial to Achilles because he looks very cute in his shirt.

Japan’s Pacific octopus named Rabio, perhaps the new Paul (Germany’s former famous octopus who passed in 2012) predicted the nation’s loss to Poland. He was then sent to market, RIP.

And then there’s poor Baidianr, the psychic cat in China living in Beijing’s Palace Museum who fell ill and passed away. Thousands of internet users left heartfelt goodbyes afterwards.

Those are just a few of my favorite psychic animals: who are you rooting for?

(image: screencap)

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