There have been many rumors about the master magician and illusionist David Copperfield in recent years. He’s been sued for breach of contract for cancelling shows in Jakarta while his Indonesian promoter held onto hundreds of thousands of dollars of his equipment in return. He sued an insurance company for reimbursement of a ransom paid to Russian mafia who had taken his equipment. He fought rumors that he was gay despite his six-year engagement to supermodel Claudia Schiffer. He later was accused of sexual assault of a different woman (the suit was eventually dropped). He also reportedly used sleight of hand to avoid getting his possessions stolen during a robbery at gunpoint—how badass magician is that?
And finally Copperfield was sued by the previous owner of Musha Cay, a 150-acre island in the Exuma Chain in the Southern Bahamas, who claims the magician concealed his identity during the purchase of the island. The former master of Musha Cay said he would not have sold the island knowingly to Copperfield. Yet that’s hardly the most fascinating rumor surrounding the island and David Copperfield. Musha Cay holds an even greater mystery: a natural spring that the illusionist claims is the fountain of youth.
My Opinion Isn’t Worth as Much—Apparently
Until recently, the master magician and illusionist David Copperfield had completely disappeared from my radar. No longer was I that pigtailed child who sat down on our living room couch to watch him perform illusions, like making the Statue of Liberty “disappear” on his evening television specials. I must confess that even then I thought his style of illusion felt hokey and contrived, and his flair for overly serious and dramatic faces and gestures didn’t help.
Yet my humble opinion hasn’t seemed to make a dent in his career. Copperfield’s specials have won 21 Emmy Awards. He holds 11 Guinness World Records, including one for the most tickets sold—more than 40 million. Grossing more than $3 billion in ticket sales, Copperfield continues to rank among the highest-earning entertainers in the world.
Musha Cay, The Magical Island
And with his sizeable purse, Copperfield purchased a small chain of islands in the Bahamas several years ago. Copperfield reportedly discovered the 11 islands of the 700-acre archipelago, by connecting lines between the “magical places on Earth.” Cartographical lines were drawn between the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán and between Stonehenge and the statues of Easter Island. The archipelago is where they happened to intersect. Musha Cay, one of the islands, is where the fountain of juvenescence sits.
Copperfield transformed Musha Cay—with its idyllic, white sand beaches, lush green foliage and crystal blue water—quite literally into a magical island. According to a VICE article on a visit to the island, in one room, a canoe dangling from the ceiling can descend down during special moments, as if levitating. In other, a TV inside a wicker chest appears to float out of the ground. Balinese daybeds have secret compartments. Orchestral music is piped from the palm trees. There are plans for a haunted island that snows, a secret cave with “mind-reading” monkeys, and adventures where Sherpas make water magically “appear out of thin air.”
With beach front villas, an Oceanside drive-in theater, a game room with Harry Houdini’s pool table, an impressive collection of exotic artifacts, like maharaja chairs and African headdresses and exotic animals abounding, it isn’t hard to imagine the magic might extend beyond Copperfield’s fabrications on this exclusive, island paradise. And by exclusive, I mean having the wealth of Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who is also invested in research to reverse ageing and to extend life indefinitely. Rates on the five villa island start at $37,500 per day, and only one group of guests, made of up to 24 people, may visit at a time (max capacity, btw, would run you $46,500/night.) That’s the price of luxury, but is it also the price for eternal youth?
Is The Fountain of Youth The Real Deal Or Just An Illusion?
At age 56, Copperfield is still wowing audiences with his magic, performing regularly in Las Vegas when he’s not on Musha Cay. He’s also enchanted a 28-year-old French model, who is the mother of his daughter, born in 2010. But has he really found the secret to erase the wear and tear of age?
The legend of a fountain of youth, a spring that erases age from those who drink or bathe in its waters, has been the subject of mankind’s fascination for thousands of years, from the ancient Greek historian Herodotus to the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León.
So far, the findings at The Islands of Copperfield Bay have been dubious. “We found this liquid that in its simple stages can actually do miraculous things,” Copperfield told VICE. “You can take dead leaves, they come into contact with the water, they become full of life again. Bugs or insects that are near death come in contact with the water, they fly away. It’s an amazing thing, very exciting.”
Yet he said that the effects on humans are still unknown. He has a team of biologists and geologists tasked with researching its affect beyond simple organisms. If Copperfield’s liquid proves golden, it stands to reward the illusionist’s heavy investments in his ordered paradise tremendously. The global anti-aging market is estimated to be worth $292 billion by 2015. And we know plenty of celebrities we’d rather see drinking from the fountain of youth than blasting through the train wreck of plastic surgery—yeah, I’m talking about you, Carrot Top and Joan Rivers.