How accurate are animal predictions in major football tournaments?

How accurate are animal predictions in major football tournaments?
Harry Kane responds to Gary Lineker criticism of Euro 2024 performance

Animals have been predicting results at major tournaments for years, with Paul the Octopus shooting to fame in 2008 for getting so many right - but how accurate are animals at predicting what will happen?

Ludwig the sausage dog is one of the latest in a fairly long line of animals to predict results.

He correctly foresaw that Germany would beat Scotland in their opening match of Euro 2024 by eating in one of three bowls - and has predicted Portugal to win the whole thing.

Looking at some of the other animals to have predicted what will happen, let's start at the beginning with the most famous - Paul himself.

He would have two boxes of food in front of him which had two different flags on and whichever one he would choose would be his prediction of who would win that match.

Out of 14 matches he predicted across Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, Paul got 12 correct, including getting the right winner of the World Cup final.

Paul the Octopus correctly predicts the winner of the 2010 World Cup final / Patrik Stollarz, AFP via Getty Images

He guessed Germany results primarily, getting four out of six correct at Euro 2008 and then amazingly getting all seven right at the 2010 World Cup.

The only game he predicted other than Germany was that final - and he got that right too.

Paul sadly died not long after the World Cup later in 2010.

Emma the pig gained fame in 2012, correctly predicting every single Germany result at Euro 2012 and even predicting they would not reach the final.

Nelly the elephant predicted results at Euro 2012 after being successful in predicting what would happen at the 2006 Women's World Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

She would make her selection by kicking the ball into a goal.

Included in her correct calls was the 2013 Champions League final where she predicted Bayern Munich would beat Borussia Dortmund.

Citta the elephant makes predictions at Euro 2012 / Bartosz Siedlik, AFP via Getty Images

There were a number of animals tasked with casting their predictions at the 2014 World Cup.

They included Flopsy the kangaroo (who got one out of two), Shaheen the camel (who got a number wrong), Madame Shiva the guinea pig (who also got them wrong more often than not) and Big Head the sea turtle (who got one out of two as well).

Penguins Alf, Lolly and Ginny, macaws Sarge and Oscar and miniature donkeys Alistair and Derek all incorrectly predicted England would beat Italy in their opening game at that World Cup - England lost 2-1.

However Mystic Marcus is a pig that correctly picked the 2014 winners of Wimbledon and the World Cup.

He even branched out into politics, correctly predicting that Brexit would happen in 2016 and that Donald Trump would get elected as US president in 2017.

Marcus then predicted who he think would make the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup - but only got Belgium right after also guessing Argentina, Nigeria and Uruguay.

His owner said he regularly predicted results for Derby County and even predicted the Rams would miss out on promotion to the Premier League in 2018.

Achilles the cat, who is also a mice hunter, predicted results at the 2018 World Cup / Olga Maltseva, AFP via Getty Images

Achilles the cat got people noticing his predictions after correctly guessing three out of four matches in the 2017 Confederations Cup.

It got him the gig of predicting results at the 2018 World Cup - but his predictions were mixed in their accuracy.

Achilles, who's deaf, was dressed in the red colours of Russia and would predict results by picking food from one of two bowls with flags on.

He got Russia's wins against Saudi Arabia and Egypt correct, Iran's win against Morocco and Brazil's win against Costa Rica - but incorrectly predicted Switzerland to beat Sweden and that Nigeria would defy the odds to beat Argentina.

His day job is to catch mice in the basement of a museum in St Petersburg.

Rubio the octopus in Japan had a 100 per cent record of correctly predicting his country's results through the group stage - however it's reported he never got the chance to predict the rest of the tournament as he was turned into seafood...

At the 2022 World Cup, Taiyo the otter correctly predicted Japan would beat Germany.

Walter the orang-utan couldn't make up his mind when deciding between Germany or Scotland ahead of Euro 2024 starting - he picked Germany quickly at first but then switched to Scotland.

Rana the lion put both paws on two pieces of paper with England and Serbia on them, seemingly predicting a draw for that one which England won 1-0.

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