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Mermaid sightings have Israeli tourists angling for a glimpse -- and a reward

August 13, 2009 | 11:25 am


It has been just about every male fisherman's fantasy, at one point in their lives, to encounter a mermaid.

In a coastal community in Israel, however, visitors who claim to have spotted a mermaid insist she is real and looks like a cross between a fish and young girl.

The reports conjure memories of the romantic comedy "Splash," starring Daryl Hannah (pictured). But in Kirvat Yam, the mermaid in question has not rescued a drowning swimmer and remains elusive, emerging only at sunset (during happy hour, we presume).

"People say it is half girl, half fish, jumping like a dolphin," town spokesman Natti Zilberman told Sky News. Zilberman said the town has offered a $1-million reward for anyone who can prove, with a credible photograph, the mermaid's existence.

Zilberman denied this is one giant contrived publicity stunt but acknowledged the offer of a reward was made in hope of luring more tourists to the area. That plan is working like a charm.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Daryl Hannah played a mermaid in the 1984 comedy "Splash." Credit: 20th Century Fox