The Germans used and then ate Paul the Octopus, Utah’s Hogle Zoo asked its big ape, and Jimmy Fallon has his team of Golden Retriever puppies. Using animals to predict major sporting events has long been a tradition for people who work with animals or in entertainment, or generally just have too much time on their hands. But when it comes to the standard-bearer, no animal has done it quite like Paul, who picked eight consecutive matches and eventually the championship during the World Cup in 2010. So it is with that in mind that the panda bear experts in Sichuan are hoping that their furry little cubs can become the greatest puffball prognosticators in the history of sports.
According to the Sidney Morning Herald (via Extra Mustard), the panda cubs will be picking games in each stage of this year’s FIFA World Cup based on specific situations. For example, in the group stage, baskets will be set up to symbolize results of Win, Lose or Draw, and whichever basket the pandas choose food from will determine their predictions. In the elimination rounds, the cubs will choose their winners by climbing trees with flags on them. This is perhaps the most important task that any panda has ever been given, but based on what we know about pandas, it should be the most adorable psychic analysis we’ve ever seen.