World Cup 2014: Big Head the Loggerhead Turtle, Correctly Forecast the Results of Brazil-Croatia Match; More Animal Psychics Emerge
By Vittorio Hernandez | June 16, 2014 10:24 AM EST
Big Head, the Loggerhead Turtle, proved over the weekend that it is a likely good replacement for Paul, the Octopus, as the oracle of the World Cup.
A loggerhead sea turtle named Chompy is released back into the wild at the Beit Yannai beach near Netanya December 25, 2009. Chompy suffered severe injuries to his front fins after being entangled in a fishing net. The turtle underwent emergency surgery in Israel on February 22, 2008 to reconstruct one of his fins. The other fin had to be amputated. Chompy was released back to the Mediterranean Sea on Friday.
The animal correctly predicted on Thursday that host country Brazil would win over Croatia on Friday. Brazil won 3-1, although it was an unconvincing victory due to refereeing controversy. The turtle selected a piece of fish under a Brazilian flag from a choice of the Croatian flag or a ball that would mean a draw.
Besides Big Head, another animal considered a game result psychic is Nelly, the elephant which is in a park in Germany.
BBC reports that other animals too are being tapped in different parts of the world to forecast results of the ongoing World Cup games in Brazil.
Two Macaws in Brazil named Sarge and Oscar likewise has a 2-0 record when they correctly predicted a Brazil win over Croatia and an England win over Australia.
In Queensland, Australia, a kangaroo named Flopsy was renamed Predictaroo. To test her psychic power was similar to Big Head's, which is by presenting her with two food bowls with names of the competing team. Unfortunately, the Kangaroo wrongly forecast Australia's win over Chile which lost 1-3.
Another animal that lost its credibility as an oracle is Tick, a sea lion from Bangkok Zoo that predicted the Euro 2012 host Poland would win over Greece, but the match was a draw at 1-1.
In The Netherlands, a guinea pig named Sikko made predictions for the ongoing World Cup. The animal's forecast for the Brazil games are being featured on a local radio station daily, although Sikko is not as famous yet as Big Head or Nelly, with just 121 Twitter followers.
While some animals had good records in forecasting game results, such as Paul, the Octopus, which eventually died, marketing expert Keith Hicks from the University of West England said these predictions should be taken with a grain of salt.
He said, "I think it is a bit of fun and like most of these things they become a tradition and it all adds to the mystique and fun of the competition."
But Hick pointed out that the popularity of animal psychics helps bring tourists to zoos and other institutions with animals, saying, "It is difficult to keep a zoo or aquarium and get interest in it and keep a science centre going, so all credit to them for exploiting people's interest in World Cups and animals."
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