A 5-month-old octopus with a familiar name made his public debut Wednesday.
Paul the Octopus tentatively explored his new tank at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen after two months in quarantine. He replaces another Paul the Octopus, who became world famous for correctly predicting the outcome of World Cup soccer matches this summer.
The original Paul, who brought joy to millions throughout the World Cup with his accurate predictions of games, died of natural causes last week. The youngster comes from southern France and weighs nearly 10.5 ounces.
The young French-born octopus was transferred to the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen some weeks ago so that Paul I could teach him predictive powers, but sadly the former great died before he could transfer his skills.
"We haven't tested him yet," said a spokeswoman for the Sea Life Centre. "The old Paul was supposed to teach him. But unfortunately he died before he could do that".
The centre will build a memorial to the mystic mollusk, which will include a screen showing the "best and most moving moments" of his life.
"This is not the normal way we deal with our sea creatures," the spokeswoman added. "But Paul was one of the most extraordinary animals we ever had. It seems appropriate to build a monument for him because he achieved such fame during his lifetime.''
It remains to be seen whether Paul II can live up to his name, but many predict that he will be tasked with forecasting the results of the Euro 2012 championships in two years' time.