Lost Cities, Lost Civilizations, lost areas that hold supernatural secrets, as soon as man began exploring the world legends like these have existed. Are these tales of lost treasure and fountains of youth just stories made up by explorers relaying exaggerated versions of their adventures, or is there more truth to them than that? Let’s take a look at 5 of the ancient worlds most intriguing legends.
1. Lost Inca Gold
This legend begins in the 16th century. The Inca Empire was giving way to the invading Europeans. The Spanish commander Francisco Pizarro had captured an Incan king by the name of Atahualpa. Pizarro promised to release Atahualpa if the king would give him an unreal amount of gold. Atahualpa’s people came through and collected all the gold they could find. Part of the gold was delivered to Pizarro, but before the other half was delivered Pizarro went back on his word and had King Atahualpa executed. It is said that those loyal to Atahualpa buried the treasure in a mountain cave and it is said to remain there till this day.
Many have tried to recover the treasure. In 1886 Barth Blake claimed that he found the legendary Incan treasure. He wrote: “There are thousands of gold and silver pieces of Inca and pre-Inca handicraft, the most beautiful goldsmith works you are not able to imagine.” He also described “golden vases full of emeralds” and giant statues made completely of gold. Blake planned to raise funds for a large-scale expedition of the site, but tragically died at sea before he got the chance. Others since then have claimed to see the site, but no tangible evidence exists and those who claim to have found it have been unable to relocate the site.
2. El Dorado
El Dorado is a legendary South American city that is made entirely of gold. The legend arose in the 16th and 17th century along with the rise of the New World. Many people ventured into the wilderness of South America to search for this city, most expeditions ended in death. One explorer got his son killed while searching for the El Dorado. The guilt drove him to suicide.
This legend does have its roots in fact. When Spanish explorers first reached the New World they were told stories by other tribes about a king who had his people throw precious jewels into Lake Guatavita to appease a god that lived beneath the water surface. The Spaniards attempted to drain the lake and found some gold, but could not drain the lake enough to reach the larger quantities of gold that supposedly lay in the deeper waters.
This is a very persistent legend, and many still talk as if this legendary city made of gold still exists. Despite logic dictating otherwise, many want to believe that there is a city made of gold. They want to believe that an opportunity exists for them to find riches beyond their wildest dreams in the form of a long lost city.
The story of the lost city of Atlantis is one of those legends that have survived throughout the century. The legends origins come from that of the Greek philosopher Plato. Plato’s story tells of a great city created by a race of half god and half men. The city was home to exotic wildlife and was the most civilized civilization to have ever existed. Plato told this fantastic tale in 360 B.C. and the story persists to this day.
Most scholars believe that Plato’s story was merely a philosophical tale or an allegory warning that civilized societies can never truly conquer nature but some believe that Atlantis is very real. There are many theories about exactly where Atlantis is located ranging from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean to being at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea (these theories are explored further here).
It is not out of the question that Atlantis is based on a true story. Ancient cites and cites today are constantly devastated by floods and volcanic eruptions. It is a very real possibility that a great city did at one time exist but was taken by nature.
4. Crystal Skulls
This legend is a bit different because crystal skulls are existing artifacts, but their purpose remains a mystery. The skulls are not even all that rare, but these macabre leftover from an ancient civilization are too mysterious to be ignored. These skulls are found all throughout Mexico and are believed by some archeologists to have been carved tens of thousand of years ago by an ancient Mesoamerican civilization. What are these mysterious skulls? Some believe that they are artifacts from Atlantis and others cite the skulls as evidence that aliens visited Earth in the distant past.
Many new age types believe that the skulls have supernatural powers. They say that the skulls can enhance psychic abilities and that they also possess healing powers. The legend got a boost in popularity when Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released back in 2008, exhibiting that people are still fascinated with the Crystal Skulls.
5. The Fountain Of Youth
Many cultures have legends similar to the fountain of youth story. It was rumored that as Alexander The Great approached death he was hunting for a legendary river that would heal old age. There is also a European legend that tells of a great king who presided over a kingdom that had a spring that would give you eternal life. With the discovery of the new world in the 16th century many were intrigued by this new land mass and the legend of the fountain of youth sprang up again. This time the fountain was said to be located in the Americas. Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon famously searched for the fountain in what is now modern day St. Augustine, Florida.
The strange thing is that no records exist that detail de Leon’s expedition into Florida, this has led many scholars to believe that the stories may have been made up by de Leon or some of de Leon’s contemporaries. Regardless, the legend persists and is as popular as ever. There is a tourist attraction in Florida that claims to be the fabled fountain of youth. Sadly, the spring’s name is a bit misleading as those who drink from do not become immortal.
Author: Jonathan Kaulay Copyrighted © paranormalhaze.com