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In 2010, soccer fans watched as Paul the Octopus, a Common Octopus from England, correctly predicted the outcomes of Germany’s eight matches and the final at the World Cup. But he died later that year, prompting fans to search for the next psychic animal.

While Paul is irreplaceable, several animals are in competition for his coveted position for Euro 2012. A little piggy, Funtik, is the favorite so far—he munches on the food plate with the flag of the country he predicts will win—but has been hit or miss.

These mystics are obviously psychology or astronomy majors. What kinds of college students would other smart animals make?

Octopi and rats would also make fine computer science or engineering majors. Octopi can screw off lids on jars demonstrates high strength and skill. Both animals are very good at finding shortcuts and loopholes in mazes, demonstrating strong problem solving abilities.

Pigeons would be pecking around in the visual arts studios. They can remember and recognize hundreds of images over years. With their eye for detail, they can also be trained to recognize themselves in the mirror and to find the little differences between two similar objects. 


Dolphins are the big men and women on campus who happen to be the smartest ones, too. Both gregarious and super intelligent, dolphins are highly social animals that speak in a complex sonar language. They also surf, race, leap, spin, whistle, and play games with each other. Linguistics, economics, and other social science majors combine their social and brainy powers. But honestly, they can get away with anything. 

Squirrels are college dropouts—they’d run before being forced to take any requirements. As naturally clever and resourceful, squirrels would be great robbers—of banks, of houses, of museums, etc. They’ve figured out how to hide food in any place possible, and even know how to dupe other animals by pretending to hide food in certain places. Their strong memories also allow them to find hidden things years after having hid them. On the flip side, they may make great policemen or detectives, if they can apply their skills the other way. 

Elephants can probably major in anything that requires strong memory skills—like pre-law, pre-med, history, library studies, or even drama

Ravens and crows are the next entrepreneurship majors. These birds are highly creative and innovative. Ravens have been known to drop off nuts on the street, let cars crack the shells, and patiently wait to collect the nuts after the cars pass, while crows (like chimpanzees and elephants) can make tools out of natural substances. Crows can also be mathematics majors, having complex counting and number abilities. 

Great apes—chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas—would make great media and communications, sociology, anthropology, or human services majors. With the most advanced social structures and abilities, our cousins are quintessential people persons.

What other animals make great college students?