Copperfield's Next Trick? Eternal Life
Sure he may have walked through the Great Wall of China, wooed Claudia Schiffer and used his superpowers to thwart would-be robbers, but those were mere parlor tricks. Now David Copperfield is ready for his greatest feat: immortality.
The master illusionist has announced he has discovered--wait for it--the Fountain of Youth.
Copperfield, 49, told Reuters that the magical healing waters of yore are actually located in the Exuma archipelago, a chain of four small islands in the Bahamas that he just so happened to have purchased recently for $65 million.
"I've discovered a true phenomenon," Copperfield told the wire service. "You can take dead leaves, they come in contact with the water, they become full of life again...Bugs or insects that are near death, come in contact with the water, they'll fly away. It's an amazing thing, very, very exciting."
And a very, very good marketing ploy.
Copperfield recently transformed one of the isles, Musha Cay, into a posh, private retreat that the ultra-rich can enjoy for up to $392,000 a week. Spiking the Mai Tais with a couple drops of the elixir of life could easily add a zero or two to the final bill.
To prove he's not kidding, the TV trickster says he intends to authenticate his finding, hiring biologists and geologists to scientifically evaluate the purported curative pool's effects. In the meantime, he's keeping the waters off limits.
Copperfield's publicist, Stacy Wolfe said the entertainer was currently on the island and unreachable for comment.
The myth of the Fountain of Youth dates backs centuries. Ponce de Leon and his conquistador crew first heard about in from natives encountered in the Caribbean who believed that a spring with rejuvenating properties was located in the Bahamas not far from Copperfield's chain.
The Spaniards set out for the fabled spot and ended up landing in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1513. Today, St. Augustine pays tribute to the legend via the Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park, which, includes a museum, various artifacts, an Indian village and a spring--not the spring--but one that tourists can drink from in the hopes of turning back the clock on the aging process.
And what do the locals think of Copperfield's claim?
Dr. C. Randall Harrell, founder of the Tampa-area Fountain of Youth Institute (www.fountainofyouth.com
), suggested the illusionist might want to stick to sleight of hand.
"I'm a big fan of David Copperfield, but obviously he's an illusionist and we deal with reality," Harrell said by phone, adding that his institute offers more science-based approaches to everlasting youth, such as cosmetic surgery, a medi-spa for such non-invasive procedures as laser skin tightening, and "rejuvenation vacation" packages.
Then again, if Copperfield can make the Statue of Liberty vanish, we wouldn't bet against him when it comes to making liver spots disappear.