It seemed only a few days ago that the final chapter in Paul the Octopus’ incredible and mysterious life had been written. But now the story has gotten even deeper as a Chinese Film Director uncovers information that leads her to believe there is something suspicious about the death of the octopus’ final days. Is foul play at work here?
Jiang Xiao has come forward suggesting that she has personal evidence brought to her attention suggesting the octopus met his peaceful and natural end just after the games ended, and that the recent announcement that he has been alive since then has been a ploy as the original caretakers could no longer hold up to the standards and expectations of the previous Paul the Octopus. Since octopi all look so similar to humans, it would be virtually impossible to tell one from another. And yet she’s not alone in the sea of voices suggesting foul play in the death of our beloved psychic cephalopod.
As evidence is pouring in and speculation is pouring out it seems Paul the Octopus may be the victim of another kind of foul play – namely the use of his good name and his fame along with his death in order to gain attention. But it seems that even with this serving as a possibility, there are several who have genuine doubts and concerns over the fate of Paul. Among the questions raised are why he died so suddenly shortly after performing such an incredible psychic stunt.
To this it is easy enough to relax fans of Paul. Octopi of Paul’s breed generally live anywhere up to two or three years in captivity depending on general health, diet, stressors, and the presence of predators. Paul was born (hatched actually) in January of 2008 and died recently in October of this year making him approximately 147 weeks old or almost three years. This is reaching the end of the ideal life span for an octopus. Actually, given the amount of time that passed Paul was getting on in years. He had lived through two world cups whereas most octopi are lucky to live through even one depending on when they are hatched.
But it can’t be denied that although he was well loved the world over for his ability to predict big wins, he would have most certainly made a lot of enemies. Betting parlors following the octopus’ predictions may have ultimately decided that he was far beyond reasonable risks as thousands began betting big on the octopus’ predictions and winning. And though he was no doubt unlikely to make another prediction, some have suggested an organized crime syndicate putting a hit out on this octopus that got too lucky for their taste. This is well within the realm of too ridiculous to handle for some skeptics who suggest he reached the end of his life when he was expected to.
The only theory that seems to have a chance at hitting at something real would have to be Jiang Xiao’s. Xiao suggests that video footage suggests Paul took on a wildly different appearance after mid July. Would the aquarium keeping him have been motivated to use a surrogate in his stead if Paul had died in the name of keeping the media interested?