COLUMN: The long trend of animal predictors


Killeen Reidy, Columnist

As some of you may know, Noodle the 13 year old pug has recently risen to TikTok fame. Him and his owner, Jonathan Graziano, have taken the social media platform by storm with Noodle’s daily bones or no bones day predictions. The all powerful Noodle was even on the “Today” show last week, where he gave a live prediction of a bones day. As much as we all love him, he is really just the latest in a long line of animals predictors.  

I had the amazing experience of getting to explain Noodle the Pug to Dean England on Saturday.  During this conversation, he remembered something about an octopus predicting soccer matches in Europe. Of course I had to look it up. Paul the Octopus, a resident of Oberhausen Sea Life Centre in Germany, predicted the winner of seven matches back in the 2010 World Cup. He did this by picking a mussel from two boxes, each with one of the competing teams’ flags on them. Much like Noodle, Paul was met with large amounts of enthusiasm. When I say enthusiasm, I mean a Spanish town made him an honorary citizen after he chose Spain as the winner of the Cup level of enthusiasm. Sadly, Paul the Octopus passed away on October 26, 2010.  

As I said before, there has been a long line of famous animal predictors, and Paul is not even the only animal to have become famous for predicting the outcome of sports matches. The list being made up of many different species living all across the globe. Much of their fame being short lived, so now what does this mean for Noodle? 

Well lets not forget one of the longest running animal predictors there is: Punxsutawney Phil. A groundhog who has been predicting the coming of spring since 1887 and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. Now of course I know it’s not the same groundhog, but it’s still one of the most enduring of the animal predictors.  

So there is hope for Noodle’s prediction career being long term. While the hype will probably decline at least a little, I think Noodle will be staying in our lives for as long as he’s around. This is because Noodle has a unique aspect to his predictions: he has a partner. Most animals have just two options given to them and then they pick, this is true even for Punxsutawney in a way. It’s definitely true for Noodle, but if you’ve watched Jonathan and Noodle you’d know that Noodle having or not having bones isn’t black and white. Many times Jonathan helps interpret what Noodle means with his predictions. Sometimes a no bones day means to just stop and relax and sometimes it means to treat yourself extra well. 

Another unique aspect is that the predictions aren’t reliant on an event coming up. Noodle makes his predictions every morning. This means he’s constantly present, so even if you miss one prediction there’s going to be another pretty soon. The daily nature of them also has led to him becoming apart of people’s daily routine, as shown by the dozen of comments on each video saying something along the lines of  “they couldn’t start their day without knowing if it was a bones or no bones day.” So yes, animal predictors are not new and TikTok trends are always coming and going, but I personally think Noodle is here to stay.  

Killeen Reidy is a junior English major. They can be reached at [email protected] or at 581-2812.