In the massively-hyped, quadrennial sporting event that grips sports enthusiasts the world over, it's often impossible to predict what'll happen in the World Cup.
Who would have thought that the Dutch National team would have got away with a kung-fu kick in the 2010 Final, or that Zinedine Zidane would headbutt his opponent in the 2006 curtain-closer, in what would be his final-ever game? Who would have thought the 2014 champions Germany wouldn't make it out of the group this time around?
The World Cup is massively unpredictable, which makes betting for your favourite team an exercise in futility, but one weird way people are seeing what'll happen ahead of the game is to employ the help of a 'psychic animal' to see the future, and inspire World Cup hope.
You may remember Paul the psychic octopus, who successfully predicted Spain's march to the 2010 title, while Newton the psychic parrot is making waves over on the sports channel Eurosport. But one psychic animal who won't be around for the World Cup Quarter Finals is Rabio, who is another psychic octopus that was killed and sold for food earlier this week.
Before the tournament kicked in Russia last month, few people gave Japan a prayer when it came to emerging from their group, with Colombia, Senegal and Poland standing in the way of the knockout stages. Had they listened to Rabio, though, they needn't had worried: he successfully predicted all three of the results that saw Japan through.
How exactly did he do that, you ask? Well, before each game, Rabio was placed into a pool with three baskets of food; one representing a Japan victory, one representing a Japan defeat, and a third basket which signified a draw. Using this method, Rabio predicted Japan would beat Colombia, draw with Senegal, and lose to Poland.
All three predictions came true.
“I’m glad that all the forecasts turned out correct and Japan moved on to the knockout stage,” said Kimio Abe, a 51-year-old fisherman who brought in Rabio from the watery depths and helped him start his psychic career. But sadly, this particular career was about to be tragically cut short.
Mere days after successfully guiding Japan through to the first knockout stage, Abe revealed that Rabio had been “shipped” - that is, killed, gutted, cleaned, and sent to the market to be sold for food. After all, Abe had a business to run, and he offered hope to Japanese fans by saying: “I hope that the second Rabiot will also give all the outcomes correctly and that Japan will go all the way."
By now, you probably know that this did not exactly go to plan.
Paired up with footballing giants Belgium in the first knockout round, Japan took a shock 2-0 lead, but a fightback by the Belgians (including a sucker punch of a goal with literally the last kick of the game) meant Japan lost 3-2, and in a dramatic game of odyssean proportions, nobody could have seen this result coming. Well, apart from maybe a psychic octopus.
So let's recap. Psychic octopus successfully predicts all of Japan's World Cup group stage. Psychic octopus gets slaughtered for food. Japan lose their next game in heartbreaking fashion.
That can't have been a coincidence... right?