Superstition has always run deep in the sporting world. From basketball legend Michael Jordan’s lucky college shorts to tennis ace Serena Williams who always bounces the ball five times before her first serve, perceived behaviour of unrelated aspects always find a way of attachment in the world of sports.

Take the infamous Paul the octopus, which shot up to fame in the 2010 FIFA world cup held in South Africa. The octopus had made its mark for predicting the outcome of 10 out of 14 matches. However, after the untimely demise of Paul, many animals around the world fought for the throne of the psychic predictor.

Paul was the first German psychic animal to gain international recognition in recent times

Nelly the Elephant

Pictured: Nelly doing what she does best

Among the horde of critters that tried desperately to make it to stardom, an elephant lumbered its way to the top of accurate predictions. Nelly; the Asiatic elephant living in Hanover’s Serengeti Park, also from Germany, has a remarkable prediction streak of 30 out of 33 matches. Her predictions started in the 2010 world cup and covered the Euro 2012 and the Champions League of 2013. The keepers at the wildlife park give Nelly a football and encourage her to kick it into one of the two goals decorated with a contestant flag. After much confused shuffling, the three tonne giantess ends up sending the ball into one of the goals. As a reward, she gets a trunk rub and a treat. Gamblers, however, all over the world rush in to place their bets, placing their utmost faith in their new found deity.

Nelly’s most recent prediction of the June 26th match between USA and Germany turned out to be accurate, and whoever placed their faith (and money) in her, their dedication has been rewarded. She kicked the ball in the German flag-adorned goal signalling her prediction that Germany would win the match. And as it stands, Germany beat USA 1-0. Her keepers are obviously happy with the attention their park is receiving. According to them, the attention would bring awareness to the animals, however, they also added that some disgruntled football fans that lost bets due to placing faith in Nelly, might not be very happy with the elephant and might try to cause her harm. The life of a celebrity isn’t always easy.


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