July 11, 2013
A giant octopus at Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks has joined in the speculation about the imminent royal birth – by predicting the baby will be a boy.
The giant Pacific octopus, nicknamed ‘mystic’ Marjorie, was given two treat-filled baby bottles to choose from; one with a blue lid and the other with a pink one.
In recent years cephalopods from around the world have been enlisted to try and predict everything from World Cup football results to the winners of the Superbowl – with varying success.
Blue Planet Aquarium’s Rebecca Collins said: “The Royal baby prediction was a bit of fun dreamed up by our team of aquarists.
“They are always coming up with new activities to test Marjorie’s intelligence and to provide her with puzzles to solve and so this seemed like a natural progression.
“They placed identical treats in either bottle, left it up to her to decide and she immediately went for the blue one. I guess she has a 50-50 chance of being right but it’s certainly convinced her keepers who are now adamant that Kate and William’s new arrival will be a future king,” she added.
Giant Pacific octopus are the world’s largest species of octopus and are found from Japan to Southern California. The biggest recorded specimen had an arm span of 10 metres (33ft) and weighed 270kgs (600lbs).
As well as being the largest, the giant Pacific is also among the cleverest members of the cephalopod family. Individuals living in aquariums have been filmed sneaking out at night to raid nearby fish-filled displays.
Despite their intelligence giant Pacific octopus are relatively short lived – going from the size of a rice grain at birth to being fully grown within the space of two years.