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Peter Pan's Neverland Found in Belize

© Picjumbo PHOTO: Turneffe Atoll (photo courtesy Belize Tourism Board)
© Picjumbo PHOTO: Turneffe Atoll (photo courtesy Belize Tourism Board)

Written in 1902, J.M. Barrie's story Peter Pan about a mischevious young boy who never grows has spawned several films, television shows, and books. The setting of the original Peter Pan book was on a mythical island known as "Neverland." 

Although entirely fictional, Neverland has - apparently - been located. Mathew Patrick from The Film Theorists, a popular YouTube channel with over six million subscribers, recently posted pictures of Turneffe Atoll in Belize, claiming that the images were actual photos of Neverland. The Turneffe Atoll is part of the outermost reaches of the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world. 

Following all the excitement generated by The Film Theorists, the Belize Tourism Board decided to capitalize on the story. On social media, the Belize Tourism Board has been asking users who are named Peter or Wendy, the two principle characters in the Peter Pan story, to email "BelizeNeverland@gmail.com" with a CC to a friend who is named Peter or Wendy. All qualifying entries will be eligible to win a five-day vacation to the "real" Neverland on the Turneffe Atoll. The Belize Tourism Board's offer of a free vacation to the lucky Peter and Wendy duo must be at least 18 years or older, live in the United States, and have sent their qualifying email before May 14, 2018. 

Although Neverland is, obviously, a fictional destination, choosing Turneffe Atoll to represent Neverland was not just a random guess. The Film Theorists carefully studied the book and live-action movie for clues to Neverland's location. In the 2003 film version, Peter and his friends leave London flying in a southwest direction, thus indicating that they were headed towards the western hemisphere. Once they arrive at Neverland, they are shown flying over a small island with several lagoons, a unique geographic feature known as an atoll. 

On the island, Captain Hook (another character in the story) encounters a large saltwater crocodile. The only species large enough to fit the bill are found in the Caribbean. Lastly, Captain Hook's character was based on Blackbeard, a real pirate who once used the Turneffe Atoll as a base of operations. According to The Film Theorists, the only place on earth which matches all of the clues is the Turneffe Atoll in Belize. 

If you'd like to visit Neverland and see it for yourself, you can book your Belize vacation with Adventures in Belize (AIB). AIB organizes trips to all of the top destinations in the country as well as lodging at popular island resorts.