The Belief in the City of El Dorado
Over the years, and with repeated retellings, the legend of El Hombre Dorado, the Golden Man, was transformed. What began as a tribal chief coated in gold dust became a city made of gold, then a kingdom of gold, and finally a fabulously wealthy empire that had more gold than the rest of the world put together. There was at least some justification for the belief that the story was real. Spaniards and other Europeans had actually encountered plenty of gold among the natives of the Caribbean coast of South of America. So they reasoned that there must be a huge source of gold somewhere in the interior.
In due course, many Spanish Conquistadors and other European adventurers who heard the more ridiculous El Dorado story version that described a city of gold, came to believe in its existence. The lust for gold and fabulous riches said to be found in the legendary city fueled numerous expeditions and searches in the 1500s and 1600s. None of them discovered the nonexistent city of gold. Indeed, most of them found little more than grief and woe in a futile quest to find a myth.