You may have to suspend disbelief here, but we assure you this is real life; you didn't just wake up in a 1984 Ron Howard film. Somewhat recently there were multiple mermaid sightings off the coast of Kiryat Yam (near Haifa in Northern Israel) which prompted the town to offer up a $1 million reward for anyone who could prove the mythical creature exists. Once this news traveled all the way to New York, the Brooklyn-based Mermaid Medical Association got involved. (Also: there is a Mermaid Medical Association.)

The MMA isn't at all worried that Kiryat Yam is probably like the government scientists who tried to take Daryl Hannah away from Tom Hanks, however. Nope, they're actually suing the town for defamation, because they exist in order to defend the rights of mermaids worldwide. We really hope this does end up in International court, just so we can all read transcripts in which Kiryat Yam is berated by some Brooklynites for “badly and outrageously damaging the legendary mermaid legacy."

Mermaids and their supporters are nothing if not fair, however, and have given the town 10 days to rescind the reward. Alas, town officials are playing hardball, and say they will "appeal to the organization which sent the letter and suggest that it join the search for the mermaid in order to perpetuate and preserve it.” Exactly, why are these two groups fighting when we're thisclose to proving the existence of a mythical magical sea creature? Round up the unicorns and let's go! But first, read more about past sightings (and hoaxes) here.