As World Cup fever invades the globe, people are searching for clues as to which upstart team might topple which favorite in upcoming matches. Sometimes, they find those clues in strange places, like a stray cat living in Beijing Palace Museum who correctly predicted six World Cup matches before finally dying this week. And that cat’s not the only WC casualty: Time notes that “Rabiot, a giant Pacific octopus caught in Obira, Hokkaido, correctly ‘predicted’ that Japan would win against Colombia, draw with Senegal and a loss (sic) to Poland” has also died. But unlike the cat’s death of natural causes, Rabiot was killed and sent to market to be eaten. Just throwing this out there: If something has a name, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
Rabiot’s owner, fisherman Kimio Abe, presumably enjoyed seeing which basket the octopus would pick to see if Japan would win, lose, or draw, especially as the octopus developed a certain level of local fame. But Time says Abe had reportedly “decided that his business was more important than keeping the ‘psychic’ octopus alive for the knockout stages.”
As our sister site Deadspin points out, Japan consequently had a crushing loss to Belgium yesterday after being up 2-0. Coincidence? Or the cruel arc of karmic fate? If Rabiot had still been around, at least they would have been mentally prepared for the defeat.
The history of sports-predicting octopi is a small sample size, but astoundingly accurate. Who could forget about Paul the German Octopus, star of the 2010 World Cup, who correctly predicted 12 out of 14 matches—including Spain winning the whole tournament.
So to Rabiot and Paul, thank you for your prognosticating talents, and you are both in a better place now—sliced, dabbed with soy sauce and wasabi, in someone’s lucky stomach.
[Note: Deadspin, like The Takeout, is owned by Univision Communications.]