Saturday, July 10, 2010

Clairvoyant octopus

It's unbelievable! Half the world has been following the predictions of an octopus for the winners of the South Africa World Cup matches. I must admit it's the first time I hear about a gastropod that predicts the future in the way of a Roman augur or a sibyl at Delphi.

Marine life mosaic in Pompei Museo Archaeologico Nazionale di Napoli
The thought of an animal willingly choosing one of two urns displaying the flag of a country seems to the modern mind just ludicrous. Yet, there is historical evidence that man has always believed that the prediction of the future is possible. Going back 2500 years, in ancient Greece, people used to travel to Delphi to consult the Oracle. It was a priestess called the Pythia or the Sibyl who, inebriated with a gas that emanated from a chasm in the rock, would say an enigma that was later “translated “ by a priest. One of the most important predictions of the Sibyl was that of Oedipus: when consulted by Laius and Jocasta, a childless royal couple, she said that they would have a son that would slain his father and marry his mother, and even though Laius tried to avoid it by getting rid of his son, we all know that the prediction came true.

Delphi Sibyl by Michelangelo in the Sixtine Chapel
Some time later, Julius Caesar would never dream of going into battle if the augurs were not favourable. By studying the flight of birds, the priests could tell if the gods were on their side or not.
In the Renaissance, Nostradamus wrote about terrible disasters and predicted the end of the world in such a vague way that one needs an interpreter to understand his prophesies, and it's only when something has actually happened when it seems clear what he meant in his verses. In this way, he is said to have even predicted the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Eerie!

Nostradamus
In our days, hordes of fortune tellers, clairvoyants and horoscope readers earn a living and become rich by flattering people's ears and assuring them that they will meet the love of their lives or get a fabulous job. It's amazing how many people spend their money in this blooming industry of make believe!
In this day and age of modern, state of the art technology, an octopus is the centre of all attention because up to date it never failed a prediction. It's become so famous that it's been offered a €10000 contract to promote the delicious Galician octopus around the world and it's the king of Facebook and Twitter.
Anyway, it has chosen the Spanish flag for the Final and how I wish it doesn't fail this time!

2 comments:

  1. Really fantastic your blog. I look forward to future posts.

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  2. Thank you very much, UK Horoscopes!

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