The world is a mysterious place. The can of mystery highlights some of those mysteries. This site is a class project for Amanda Warren's English 101 class at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
Articles are uploaded once a year (on average) in the fall and/or spring.
If you have questions or tips on mysteries, please leave a comment or contact AmandaW at USCA dot EDU.
Nothing seems to captivate the human race more than the idea
of eternal life. Nowhere is this
fascination more evident than the idea of The Fountain of Youth. The Fountain of Youth, a mystical water well
that grants rejuvenated youth, is a myth that has consumed people since ancient
times. Even today retailers claim
certain lotions and body products will make you look younger or even compare
their product to The Fountain of Youth itself.
Centuries after the creation of this myth people are still in search of
the fountain and, despite its many rumored locations, still seem to come up
empty. Hollywood has even had a hand in adding a new aspect of the myth is the
fountains appearance in the modern day blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: On
Perhaps the most elusive of facts
involved with The Fountain of Youth myth is the location. The location of the fountain has been rumored
to be in every corner of the world.
People have placed the fountain in: America, a Caribbean Island called
Bimini, India, Shangri-La, and even Ethiopia.
Due to exploration in search of the fountain many believe Florida, and
other parts of the Americas disputably discovered by Juan Ponce De Leon, were
accidentally found by him on a quest while in search of The Fountain of
The first mention of The Fountain
of Youth, historically speaking, was by the Greek Historian Herodotus who
believed the fountain was in Ethiopia.
Throughout time many people have searched for the fountain even some
very famous historical figures. Because
of The Alexander Romance, the great Macedonian ruler, Alexander the Great has a
link with The Fountain of Youth. A great
part of the popularity of The Fountain of Youth myth is due in part to The
Alexander Romance and its great popularity during medieval times. The greatest figure associated the fountain
of youth may not have even been in search of it at all. Juan Ponce De Leon who, by popular belief,
has been thought of for many years as the “father of the fountain” is, it
seems, falsely associated with the fountain of youth.
Juan Ponce De Leon in all his glory
The long held notion that Juan Ponce
De Leon’s journey to the Americas was in search of The Fountain of Youth has
been proven false. Due to the fact that
the association between Ponce De Leon and the fountain wasn’t published or
mentioned until long after his death many historians believe that, like most
conquistadors of his day, Ponce De Leon was greedily in search of gold and
other worldly riches rather than a magical fountain. Historians even debate on whether or not
Ponce de Leon’s greatest achievement, the discovery of Florida, can be
attributed to him. Despite the false
associations with Ponce De Leon and The Fountain of Youth there is an
archaeological park founded on the aforementioned disputed facts.
Located in St. Augustine, Florida,
The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is founded on the seemingly false idea that Ponce De Leon discovered Florida
and that his expedition was fueled by his desire to become younger. There is even a mock Fountain of Youth where
thousands of people flock year after year to drink the fabled waters.
The Fountain of Youth myth is one
that will outlive us all along with the obsession of becoming younger. Whether it’s from a face lift or a magical
fountain people will always long for youth and rejuvenation as they grow older;
and as long people have this desire the concept of The Fountain of Youth will
be very real.
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“fountain-of-youth” Photograph. 450 Years.
5 December 2011. 23 October 2012
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Youth Legend” The Pan American Institute of Geography and History No. 123
(Jan. - Dec., 1998): 63-87.JSTOR. Web. 22 Oct. 2012.
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Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.
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