Voldemort lusted after the Philosopher’s Stone, the witch of Tangled coveted her hostage daughter Rapunzel’s life-giving hair and even the hero Peter Pan wanted to stay a child forever.
Eternal youth is a well-loved tale of popular culture, but even more entertaining can be some of the myths we actually believe to be true.
The fountain of youth
While this myth seems to have more staying power than the reality, it’s such a picturesque myth we can’t help but include it.
Legend has it there’s an ancient fountain with waters capable of providing the drinker with the ability to stay young. Austrian painter Eduard Veith portrays this idea in his famous Fountain of Youth landscape, although the painting unfortunately doesn’t include a map to the fountain’s whereabouts.
One popular site is Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, Florida. As the oldest successful European settlement in the US, it certainly has the history – and if the rumours are to be believed, it holds the fountain of youth, too.
Don’t hold your breath – or do
Way – way – back in the day, one popular belief was that holding your breath or shallow, slow breathing could prolong life.
This is according to Mary-Lou Weisman, published author and old-age connoisseur, who says the belief stemmed from the fact that the dead don’t breathe. An apt observation, but unfortunately a somewhat inaccurate interpretation.
However, there may be some benefit to slow breathing on your lifespan. This practice can help to lower your resting heart rate, and according to a 2013 study published in the British Medical Journal, people with higher resting heart rates (60 to 100 beats per minute is considered normal) were at higher risk of a shorter lifespan, even if fit and healthy.
Blink and you’ll miss it
Veronica Grey has a job title you may not have heard of before. She’s a life extension expert of North Shore, Hawaii’i, and her Blink Theory may sound even more bizarre.
Based on the laws of critical mass, synchronicity and, well, blinking, Grey believes humans may all be able to blink themselves into another state of being. According to the theory, if everyone in the world blinked at once, it could cause a tear in the space time continuum and we’d all end up in another dimension and potentially enjoy an eternal youth. Interestingly, this theory claims this could be the reason why we can’t explain the disappearance of entire civilizations.
Eat peaches and feel peachy
In both Japanese and Chinese mythology, peaches are a source of eternal youth and life.
Journey to the West, a Chinese classic, is a collection of folktales in which the Peaches of Immortality play a large role. Despite being a sworn protector of the peaches, the Monkey King devilishly eats a peach from the garden of Hsi wang mu (Mother of the West) and runs away – only to be captured.
While we don’t recommend stealing them, peaches are both delicious and full of excellent nutrients such as iron and vitamins K and C, so including a few more into your diet certainly won’t do any harm.
We all pine for eternal youth, even more so around retirement. If these techniques work any magic, you’ll need to build a strong superannuation pot for all the extra years they’ll add to your life. Check on your superannuation balance now, and if you want to assess your options take a moment to consider Virgin Super.
What’s your favourite myth (or reality) about eternal youth?