Japan's 'psychic' octopus killed, turned into sashimi
Rabio the octopus (YouTube)
Tokyo - An octopus that correctly predicted the results of all Japan's Soccer World Cup Group H games was turned into sashimi before the team had even kicked a ball in the Round of 16 of the tournament.
The mollusc, named Rabio, had become the latest animal to be heralded with football fortune-telling powers after it was caught by fisherman in the town of Obira, in Hokkaido, on the day of the Samurai Blues’ opening match against Colombia.
According to the Independent website, Rabio was placed in a plastic paddling pool and encouraged to pick one of three boxes representing a win, loss, or draw for the national team, where it correctly tipped them to beat the South American side in their first match.
Rabio, a giant Pacific octopus, went on to rack up a perfect record by also predicting Japan’s draw with Senegal and their defeat to Poland as they narrowly qualified as runners-up in their group.
But Kimio Abe, the fisherman who caught Rabio, felt he'd make more money selling Rabio at a nearby market for food than from its clairvoyance.
Japan cruelly lost their Round of 16 match 3-2 on Monday to Belgium, despite leading 2-0 well into the second half.
While Japan's footballers were left to dwell on what might have been, at least they still have their health. Unlike Rabio.
But his spirit will live on, as Abe plans to use another octopus - Rabio junior - to predict the results of upcoming matches in the tournament.
It remain unclear whether Rabio had predicted his own demise...
Rabio wasn't the first psychic octopus with an interest in the World Cup.
In 2010 in South Africa, a German octopus named Paul at an aquarium in Oberhausen correctly predicted all Germany’s results, as well as picking winners Spain to beat the Netherlands in the final.
Paul passed peacefully in his aquarium in 2012, aged two.
Achilles, a cat living at St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, tipped Russia to win the opening game of this year’s tournament against Saudi Arabia.
The feline garnered a reputation as a fortune-teller during last year’s Confederations Cup for predicting the results of matches by choosing one of two plates of food marked with a flag.