There were always rumors about mermaids in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Yam, according to Shmuel Sisso, mayor of the quiet beachside municipality. But it was six months ago, when the promenade along the sea was completed, that the number of sightings reported by residents leapt dramatically.
That's when Sisso decided to offer a million dollar reward to anyone supplying unshakeable proof of the mermaid's existence.
Many are hoping to reel in that prize with proof that Israel's mermaid really does exist. Last year an NBC film crew shot footage in Kiryat Yam last summer as part of NBC's Destination Truth, which follows unique natural phenomenon all over the world.
As part of the report, the show's film crew spent a week on the Kiryat Yam beach, filming morning and night, both under and above water. The crew claims that late one night they spotted a human figure that disappeared under the water. The show's researchers dived after the figure, but were unable to trace it.
While the crew's footage hasn't yet been confirmed by the municipality, interest in the Kiryat Yam mermaid and the $1 million prize is growing fast worldwide.