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...