TIME World Cup

World Cup: Big Head the Turtle Says Brazil Will Beat Croatia

Brazil Animal Oracle
A turtle named Cabeção, or Big Head, swims in a pool in Praia do Forte, Brazil, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Lucio Tavora—AP

And based on what many soccer experts are saying, he seems to have made the right choice. Brazil is simply too good to drop its opening game on home turf

In the sleepy Brazilian coastal village of Praia Do Forte, there lives a 25-year-old loggerhead turtle named Cabeção, or Big Head. Ever the patriot, Big Head predicts that his country is going to win its first match of the World Cup.

Psychic animals aren’t really a new phenomenon: Recall Paul the Octopus, who accurately predicted the outcome of eight matches in the 2010 World Cup? Or the lesser-known Oscar the Cat, whose seeming ability to predict deaths in a Rhode Island nursing home apparently warranted a whole book?

Big Head joined their ranks on Tuesday by “making a patriotic choice of food,” according to AP, thereby implying Brazil’s imminent victory over Croatia in the opening match of the World Cup on Thursday evening. The turtle had the choice between fish hanging from the Brazilian and Croatian flags and from a soccer ball; after “attempting to eat the fish hung from [the] football” — which would have meant that he thinks the match will end in a draw — Big Head went for his home flag.

To be fair, the turtle’s prediction is in line with professional opinion: that Thursday’s match may be a tough one, but that “Brazil are simply too talented to drop the World Cup opener on their home turf.”

It’s still unclear how exactly Big Head first proved his psychic abilities, but given that loggerhead turtles have an estimated lifespan of more than 50 years, perhaps this is the beginning of a bright career.

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