While the whole world is looking at Achilles, the deaf Russian cat to predict the outcome of every game of the FIFA World Cup 2018, many Russians have kept faith on other animal oracles in the country. Some of them are veterans, who have made correct predictions in the past while others are new entrants. A racoon, an otter, a tapir, a reindeer, hippos and even a beluga whale have the sizeable task at hand for the next month or so, to predict the winners of every match of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
The trend of using animal oracles was set in 2010 World Cup in South Africa when Paul the Octopus from Germany, correctly predicted the outcome of seven matches in which Germany had participated. Since then, animals are being increasingly involved in the guessing game for World Cup tournaments.
While Achilles has taken his task seriously and has already made some correct predictions for the first match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, the others are not too far behind. Nafanya the racoon from Irkutsk, is a seasoned predictor. He used the same method as Achilles of choosing between two bowls of food. Earlier, Nafanya has successfully predicted Russia’s win in the 2015 Ice Hockey Championships.
Harry the otter sitting in Sochi took the grave decision by choosing between two flag coloured balls placed before him. In Nizhny Novgorod, Cleopatra the tapir is also predicting the outcomes of games while two hippos in Kaliningrad, Milya and Glyasik are also casting their predictions correctly.
Yasha the reindeer in Khimky has gone a step further and predicted that Russia will make it to the play-offs. Even whales in Russia are showing interest in football. A beluga whale named Puzyryok, from Anapa had correctly predicted Russia’s win in the first match and is expected to continue with more.
But the expectations haven’t stopped at animals alone. A robot named Baxter has also been assigned the task of predictions. Installed in Moscow’s VDNKh centre, Baxter uses AI to predict the results of the FIFA World Cup matches, accurately.