Australia 'psychic' octopus picks Gillard as election winner
Sat, Jul 17, 2010

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - An Australian newspaper has taken a leaf out of the football World Cup play book, unveiling its own "psychic" octopus that it says has predicted Prime Minister Julia Gillard will win next month's poll.

The Sydney Morning Herald unveiled "Cassandra" just as Gillard stood poised Saturday to call an election for late August.

The paper hopes Cassandra will rival the predictive powers of "Paul", a German octopus that called a string of results including the World Cup winner.

"Cassandra's preference for Julia Gillard was clear," the newspaper said.

"Despite being a solitary animal, she wrapped her long arms around the Prime Minister," it said next to a photo of the octopus wound around a picture of Gillard.

But the octopus's reaction to conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott's photo was less enthusiastic - she turned a "defensive black colour", the paper said.

Marine science expert Professor Rob Harcourt however warned that as octopuses have "episodic personalities", Cassandra could change her eight-tentacled vote at any time.

"On any given day, an octopus may be bold in all situations and then shy and timid the next day," he told the paper.



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