> While we're on this subject, though, do you think El Dorado was
> a real place?
Skeptoid has an article this week on legendary places, including El Dorado:
His verdict: fictional.
The fabulous city of gold that drew explorers to the New World.
Fictional. But since so many of the early explorers to the New World firmly believed in this city laden with immense gold, many came looking for it, and it played no small part in the conquista of the Americas.
All the stories of the day pointed to El Dorado as being associated with Lake Guatavita, a small lake high up in a crater in the green mountains outside of Bogotá, Colombia. Several efforts to drain the lake were made by conquistadores in the 1500s, and some gold was found, mainly bits of jewelry and armor. But in 1898, a serious mining company drilled a tunnel through the mountainside and did completely drain the lake, but found only a few ancient trinkets. The lake has since recovered and it's now illegal to hunt for gold there.