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The Fountain of Youth is a legendary spring that reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. While it is widely believed that the Fountian of Youth does not actually exist after many expeditions to locate it’s regenerative waters by explorers such as Ponce de Leon, the Fountain of Youth lives on as a metaphor for anything that potentially increases longevity and restores youth and vigor to the sick and elderly. And with Fiji Water’s reputation for being tropical and clean, Celeste’s vision of the Fiji Fountian of Youth is bringing back the belief that the Fountain of Youth is still out there, ready to be discovered by all explorers young and old wishing to obtain the gift of eternal youth.
Celeste Gallery

The Fountain of Youth: Myth or Fact?

How Did the Legend Get Started?:
The Fountain of Youth was a spring that Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, according to legend, went looking for in Florida in 1513. It was said that anyone who drinks from the Fountain would have his or her youth restored. Florida was thought to be the site of the Fountain of Youth because of native stories in the Caribbean of a restorative spring located north of the Bahamas. These native legends were combined with a popular story in Europe about a quest for a “Fountain of Life”.

Did He Find It?:
No, and he may have never gone looking for it. Accounts of his searching for the Fountain of Youth come to us many years after Ponce de Leon’s death and may have been romantic additions to his story of exploration.

Why a Fountain?:
Legends about healing waters abound in cultures around the world. From biblical stories of Jesus healing a man with water to legends in the Middle East and Asia of various healing springs, people have always talked about and quested for water that will restore youth and health. These legends were taken to a peak in 16th century Europe as the tales of the exploration of the “New World” entered into popular culture.

What Do Modern People Think About It?:
In many ways we are still looking for the Fountain of Youth. Researchers and drug companies are searching for medications to make us live longer. Fad diets, supplements, and exercise routines all claim to extend life. In the end, a healthy lifestyle, positive thinking and good relationships are our best bet for a long and happy life.

Mark Stibich, Ph.D.



This painting by Austrian artist Eduard Veith shows a scene at the mythical Fountain of Youth. Throughout history, people have sought magical ways to restore their youth.
Fine Art Photographic Library/CORBIS

Fountain of Youth—Just Wishful Thinking?

During his twilight years, American author Mark Twain noted that “life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.”

Twain’s quip was only one of many complaints about aging that have been recorded for as long as humans have dreaded the downside of a long life. The ancient Greek poet Homer called old age “loathsome,” and William Shakespeare termed it “hideous winter.”

So it’s not hard to understand why there have always been hopes and rumors that something soon to be discovered—magic waters, say, or maybe stem cell research—will do away with old age.

Alexander the Great, who conquered most of the known world before he died around 323 B.C., may have been looking for a river that healed the ravages of age. During the 12th century A.D., a king known to Europeans as Prester John supposedly ruled a land that had a river of gold and a fountain of youth.

But the name linked most closely to the search for a fountain of youth is 16th-century Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who allegedly thought it would be found in Florida. In St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., there’s a tourist attraction dating back a century that purports—albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way—to be the fountain of youth that Ponce de Leon discovered soon after he arrived in what is now Florida in 1513.

There are a couple of problems with labeling St. Augustine’s natural spring as Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth, however. Elderly visitors who drink the spring’s sulfur-smelling water don’t turn into teenagers. And Ponce de Leon probably wasn’t looking for such a fountain and may not have set foot near present-day St. Augustine. Many historians now think he came ashore about 140 miles (225 kilometers) farther south near present-day Melbourne.

The Thrill of the Chase?

But the tale of the search for a fountain of youth is so appealing that it survives anyway, says Ryan K. Smith, a professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

“People are more intrigued by the story of looking and not finding than they are by the idea that the fountain might be out there somewhere,” Smith says.

No original documents survive from Ponce de Leon’s Florida expedition. Spanish historians writing long after he died in 1521 may have created the story that he was seeking the fountain to make fun of him because he was an old man who wanted to restore his sexual vigor, Smith says.

Still, a few grains of truth have helped sustain the story. Kathleen Deagan, a professor of archaeology at the University of Florida in Gainesville and a National Geographic Society grantee, says a cemetery and the remains of a Spanish mission dating back to St. Augustine’s founding in 1565 have been discovered near the so-called fountain of youth.

“It’s always been interesting and ironic that the site is, in fact, one of the most important historical sites in Florida,” Deagan says.

Michelle Reyna, a spokesperson for the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, says the fountain has been a tourist attraction since at least 1901 and may have been attracting visitors since 1860.

Willie Drye



Artistic interpretation of the fountain of youth
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Accounts of and Searches for the Fountain of Youth

The fountain of youth is a legendary spring or fountain that brings youth to those who drink its water. The myth goes back to at least 5th century B.C.E., when Greek historian Herodotus wrote of such a fountain. Since then, the fountain of youth has been the focus of classic and modern literature, as well as modern television and movies, such as The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Similar mythical places that render visitors young or prevent aging are also popular themes in literature, such as James Hilton’s Shangri La.

Humankind is tethered by death and old age. It is the one inevitably in life, taxes notwithstanding. Quite often, we lose our vitality, our mental capacity and sometimes our libido as we age. It is no wonder that people dream about, write about, seek and try to make items that stop aging or reverse aging. The question is, is there something out there? Where is the fountain of youth supposed to be and did anyone find it?

The location of the fountain of youth is just as mysterious as the fountain itself. No two original sources of information regarding the fountain are the same. The legends of Prester John put the fountain of youth somewhere in Asia. The legend says that Prester John rules a land in the Orient that contains the fountain of youth. Apparently, Spaniards in Cuba heard from the natives that the fountain of youth is actually in a place called Bimini, on an island in the Gulf of Honduras called Bionca. Bimini may refer to the actual town that the fountain is located in, though both the island and the town are legends. This Bimini is not to be confused with the Caribbean Bimini that is associated with Atlantis, though it is frequently confused as just that.

The Alexander romances say that Alexander the Great sought a river that could reverse aging. This appears to be the only record of such an event. This is often associated with the fountain of youth, despite that the story says Alexander was searching for a river, not a fountain. History shows that Alexander was very intent on the power, wealth and land that he attained during his life. Was this enough to satiate him or did he seek to reverse the aging process so he could enjoy his spoils that much longer? This is uncertain. Either way, he clearly did not find it. He died in his early thirties.

The most famous seeker of the fountain of youth, and possibly not a seeker at all, is Juan Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon was an explorer who supposedly looked for the fountain of youth in Florida, USA. Some say he even found it. The town of St. Augustine has a tourist trap that is linked to Ponce de Leon and his quest to find the fountain of youth. However, whatever link it has to the explorer is tenuous, at best. He may not have even visited the St. Augustine area. Furthermore, all accounts of his supposed search for the fountain of youth come from after his death. There is nothing in his personal papers or contemporary accounts that suggest he was seeking a source of eternal youth.

All of the information we have about the fountain of youth points to it being legend with little or no basis in fact. Of course, like any legend, there is a possibility that it exists, but, in this case, it is highly unlikely. There are no accounts of non-fictional characters actually drinking from the fountain and becoming youthful. There are no stories about a precise location. We are not even sure that any person has seriously looked for it. Unfortunately, it appears that the human race will have to rely on science and cosmetics to bring us an approximation of the fountain of youth.

Shelly Barclay


The Photo of Modern Fountain of Youth

The Fountain of Youth of 21st Century

“We begin the next 25 years with great momentum. At a time when increasing numbers of people are seeking economic security, our strategy is to provide a focused, innovative, and compelling business opportunity, with particular emphasis on our anti-aging product platform and distributor compensation.

As we usher in the next 25 years, we’ll continue to be a beacon of innovation and integrity, setting the standard for others to follow as we demonstrate our difference through our people, product, opportunity, and culture.”
– Truman Hunt, President and Chief Executive Officer


The Photo of Furture Fountain of Youth

The Future of Anti-Aging

“We begin the next 25 years with great momentum. At a time when increasing numbers of people are seeking economic security, our strategy is to provide a focused, innovative, and compelling business opportunity, with particular emphasis on our anti-aging product platform and distributor compensation.

As we usher in the next 25 years, we’ll continue to be a beacon of innovation and integrity, setting the standard for others to follow as we demonstrate our difference through our people, product, opportunity, and culture.”
– Truman Hunt, President and Chief Executive Officer

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Laugh Yourself to Youthfulness


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