Did the Spanish explorer really go searching for the fabled fountain or was this nothing but a myth ?
The story goes that Juan Ponce de León departed Puerto Rico in 1513 on a quest to discover the location of the Fountain of Youth, a mythical wellspring said to grant everlasting life. While his goal was to reach what would later become known as the Bahamas, Ponce instead found himself landing along the coast of Florida where he staked a claim on behalf of the Spanish crown.
There is however a problem with this story. The idea that Ponce set sail to find the Fountain of Youth didn't arise until some years after his death and appears to have been a fabrication aimed at discrediting him. Instead, it is believed that Ponce was granted Bimini as a consolation prize from King Ferdinand after he had been forced to surrender his governorship. His purpose for setting sail was to find and claim the islands, not to find the Fountain of Youth as was later suggested.
"Half a millennium ago, in 1513, the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León departed Puerto Rico for the verdant island of “Bimini”—an uncharted land in what is now the Bahamas."
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Source: Smithsonian Magazine
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