A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia. The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria, in which the goddess Atargatis transforms herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover. Mermaids are sometimes depicted as perilous creatures associated with floods, storms, shipwrecks, and drowning. In other folk traditions (or sometimes within the same tradition) they can be benevolent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.
Locals, fishermen and tourists in the Israelian town of Kiryat Yam have been reporting repeated sightings of what they believe to be a mermaid, the mythological creature most often describe as half female, half fish. Shlomo Cohen is one of the first who reported such a sighting. Here’s what he had to say: “I was [...]