Juan Ponce de Leon
Explorers for Kids
Juan Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer. In 1513, Ponce de Leon became the first European to enter what would become the US State of Florida. There is a myth that says Ponce de Leon was searching for the fountain of youth, a magical fountain that made anyone who drank from it (in some myths, bathed in it) young again. It is true that Ponce de Leon explored Florida. But there is probably no truth at all to the myth that he was searching for a fountain of youth. There is no mention of a magical fountain in any of the letters Ponce de Leon wrote. Some people think that perhaps Ponce de Leon's rivals may have started this rumor to embarrass and discredit him. He was a rather nasty man. But, there is no evidence of this either. What we do know is that writers and artists have had a lot of fun with this myth over the years.