The Fountain of Youth possesses the power to restore the youth of anyone who drinks from or bathes in its waters… or at least that’s what legend would have you believe. Is there any truth to it? Nope!

But one thing’s for sure: For thousands of years, people have searched in vain for a way to recapture their glory days.

Although ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote about mythical restorative water in Ethiopia in the 5th century B.C., the modern legend of the Fountain of Youth stems from stories told by the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean about the mythical land of Bimini.

According to these old stories, the waters in Bimini had magical restorative powers. Some believe it was Bimini and the Fountain of Youth that Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León was searching for when he made his way to what is now Florida in 1513.

No one can be sure that Ponce de León was really after the Fountain of Youth since the legend wasn’t associated with him until after his death. He did claim Florida for Spain on April 8, 1513, though, and the legend of the Fountain of Youth has been linked with the Sunshine State ever since.

Even though Ponce de León was one of the first Europeans to set foot in what would become America, he never did find the Fountain of Youth. Nevertheless, modern-day St. Augustine, Florida — where some believe Ponce de León came ashore — is the home of the Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park.

Visitors to the park regularly drink the water that flows from the natural spring located there, but there is no evidence that it has any restorative effects.

Today, Florida is known as a popular retirement spot for older people from all walks of life. Many Florida retirees experience a rejuvenation of sorts when they move to Florida, although their newfound energy is most likely the result of less stress, more rest and good weather — not magic water!

The Fountain of Youth has become entrenched in popular culture. In 2006, American magician David Copperfield purchased a cluster of islands in the Bahamas and claimed he found a true Fountain of Youth. Many believe his claim to be nothing more than sleight of hand…

 

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    • Good morning from Wonderopolis, Mrs. Caplin’s class! We’re so happy that you visit us each day to learn and explore each Wonder! We think you are all AWESOME! :-)

    • We’re absolutely sure that all Wonder Friends are YOUNG AT HEART, Sparky! Wondering makes us young! Thanks for commenting today! :-)

  1. I am not sure if the people “responding” to our comments are actual real? Are you a real person or just the computer’s response?

    • We’re real people who like to learn, share, create and WONDER just like you, Sydney! It’s fun to live and work in Wonderopolis…we get to meet GREAT new Wonder Friends like YOU! :-)

    • Hi, Clayton! Sometimes, when people make funny videos or pretend commercials that sell “imaginary” products (like the Fountain of Youth water bottle in the video for this Wonder), they use a “fake” phone number to make it seem like a real commercial. That’s what the people who created this pretend commercial did.

      Thanks so much for commenting today! We’re sure there were other Wonder Friends who were curious about the phone number, too! When you see the phone number “555-5555″ from now on, you’ll know someone’s just trying to be funny! :-)

  2. hahaha, how cute, personally i think the boy looks cute.and i can see you put 2 videos together. also i tried 555-555-5555, it doesn’t work!

    • Hi, Sadie! Thanks so much for your comment and for visiting Wonderopolis today!

      We think the family in the video did a pretty good job making this pretend commercial, even if we can see where they “made the switch” from the man to the boy. :-)

      Check out our reply to Clayton’s comment above to see why you didn’t get an answer when you tried to call the “555-5555″ number…there’s an interesting reason why! :-)

  3. Hi, again, Sadie! We forgot to let you know that we got your messages about Mrs. Holt! Please tell her and all your friends and classmates that everyone in Wonderopolis says, “Hi!” :-)

  4. I have a connection about the fountain of youth. I am reading a book called The Wyrm King by: Tony DiTerlizzi. It says, ” Ponce de Leon shows up not even ten years after,” Nick said, seeing everyone’s blank stares. ” He was this Spanish explorer. Looking for the fountain of youth.” I found this paragraph while reading for status of the class at home. Right when I found the three words “fountain of youth,” wonderopolis clicked straight into my head. That’s how much my class pays attention to it!!! We love wonderopolis!!!

    • We think it’s AWESOME that you connected what you were reading with what you learned from this Wonder, Destiny/MC! Thanks so much for sharing this with everyone! :-)

  5. I love wonderopolis because it has so many videos I can watch. In my opinion, wonderopolis is the best site ever! I could never pick any other site to watch videos. You guys rock!

    • WOW, Anthony! What a SUPER comment you left for us today! We appreciate that you like watching the videos and learning from the Wonders here in Wonderopolis! You are a GREAT Wonder Friend! :-)

  6. I believe the fountain of youth is real, but it’s located somewhere in a cave deep into the earth, hidden in a chamber underneath Europe. Not in america.

    • We Wonder if you will search for the Fountain of Youth one day, Wonder Friend D? That would be a very cool adventure! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! :)

    • You’re so very right, Mteam132! We think the people in the Wonder video did a great job– they made us smile! We Wonder if you believe the fountain of youth exists, Mteam132? Or is it all a legend? :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Can the Fountain of Youth make you younger?
  • Who was Juan Ponce de León?
  • Why do some believe the Fountain of Youth is located in Florida?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

What a topsy-turvy world we live in! When we’re young, we can’t wait to get older. We look forward to the future and dream of all the things we can do when we’re just a little bit older, just a little bit bigger…

Of course, once we get older, we look backward and often wish we could reclaim our youth. We yearn for a simpler time that we remember as more carefree than the world we now live in.

Take some time today to reminisce with your parents or other older family members. Talk with them about their youth and how things were different when they were kids. How have times changed since they were your age?

Ask them what would happen if they could take a dip in the Fountain of Youth and become a kid again. What things would they change? What would they do differently?

If you want, turn your trip down memory lane into a fun game. Go on a super-secret exploring trip for the Fountain of Youth. Is it in your bathtub? Maybe in a bottle of water at the back of the refrigerator? A bucket in the backyard?

Find your pretend Fountain of Youth, take a drink from or a dip in it, and then see what happens. Do you turn into a baby right away or just get a couple years younger? If you were to turn younger, what would you do? How would your life change?

What about your parents or older family members? What happens to them when they drink from the Fountain of Youth? How young do they become? What would they do now that they’re young again?

Think carefully about what they say because you’re still a kid! Make a list of the top three lessons you learned from talking with your parents or other older family members.

Advice and perspective from those who have gone before you is priceless. Treasure their words!

If you learn some important lessons, share them with others. Email or send us a copy of your list of the top three lessons you learned:

Wonderopolis HQ
325 West Main Street, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40202-4237

 

Still Wondering

There may not really be a Fountain of Youth, but did you realize that there are some marine animals that can benefit humans medically? Learn more about them when you check out National Geographic Xpeditions’ The Ocean and Human Medicine lesson!

 

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