German city of Bielefeld offers one million euros for proof it doesn’t exist

Bielefeld Credit: Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP

A German city which has been the subject of a long-running and light-hearted conspiracy theory claiming it does not really exist is offering big bucks to anyone who can prove it.

Officials in Bielefeld said they will give one million euros (£915,000) to the person who delivers solid proof of its non-existence.

They said there are “no limits to creativity” for entrants, but only undeniable evidence will qualify for the prize.

Google Maps suggests Bielefeld does exist. Credit: Google Maps

The idea that Bielefeld does not exist was first floated by computer expert Achim Held, who posted the satirical claim on the internet in 1994 in an effort to poke fun at online conspiracy theories.

Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel once jokingly cast doubt on the existence of Bielefeld, which is allegedly located about 205 miles west of Berlin.

Bielefeld is home to Arminia Bielefeld, a professional football club that played in Germany's top league - the Bundesliga - as recently as 2009.

Local media reports submissions must be made by September 4 and, should all entries fail, the city plans to officially wave goodbye to the conspiracy in a ceremony.