In the corner of Marion and Taylor, in the town of Punta Gorda, in Florida, is a public water fountain that tourists and locals alike have been drinking from for more than a hundred years. In fact, people drive thousands of miles in order to take sips from it, because they believe that this worn-down green-tiled drinking fountain is the fabled “Fountain of Youth” that the 16th century Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León had been searching for when he arrived in Florida.
The concrete block was built in 1926, but Punta Gordians claim the fountain existed as far back as 1894. During its most popular period the artesian well drew such long lines of tourists that the fountain’s handle had to be replaced every six months. But thirty years ago, the city tried to shut it down because the water was found to be laced with radioactive radium and sulphur, which gives it a rotten egg smell. But the people resisted.
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