Quest for Fountain of Youth Continues…


In all the ancient fables there is mention of a spring or fountain that gives eternal life, this story has been around for thousands of years and most cultures have heard about this tale. Though the story related to the fountain of youth is different from one culture to the other, yet everyone seems to have heard about the waters that have magical qualities of providing eternal youth. Many ancient texts including the religious and historical ones have descriptions of the fountain of youth. Though there is so much written about the place, yet the exact location has eluded one and all.

Fountain of Youth is a fable

Herodotus renowned Greek historian wrote about the fountain while writing chronicles of the life and travel of Alexander the Great. Similar references have also been made by the natives of the Caribbean islands. According to the Caribbean legends the fountain of youth is located in a mythical land called Bamini. Herodotus write, Alexander and one of his servants found the fountain of youth while they were crossing the Land of Darkness which may be interpreted as modern day Ethiopia. This servant has been named Khwaja Khizir or Al-Khidr and his reference is also found in the Holy Quran. Persian poet Firdausi also mentioned the incident involving Khwaja Khizir. Such restorative waters have also been mentioned as the pool in Bathesda in Bible.

Ponce de Leon's Route in Quest of Fountain of Youth

Many travellers have tried to find the true location of Bamini but they were not able to decipher this land. From the Arawak tribes to the Spanish conquerors everyone set sail to find this land but none could manage to find the fountain of youth. Many people never returned from their trips in search of fountain of youth and the others waiting for news felt they have found the fountain. Thus the fable grew in proportion. Ponce de Leon who had set sail to find the Bamini islands was the first to set foot on America and found Florida in 1513. As there are no written accounts of his voyage thus there are many stories about him finding the actual fountain. If he had found the fountain of youth he would have lived long, but he died in 1521, so the story was baseless.

Even after years of search there is no trace of the fountain of youth, thus modern day researchers have claimed that this is a wishful thinking rather than reality. Many cultures have philosophically interpreted fountain of youth as a metaphor for education and thinking.

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