EDITION: August - October '07


Have you ever seen a serpent, viper, nasty insect or deadly spider on Ibiza? It is said that poisonous plants cannot grow and lethal animals cannot reproduce here. Roman historians, Greek geographers and famous Arab scholars from the 12th and 13th centuries found that the earth of Ibiza had qualities which repelled all toxic lifeforms. It is even claimed that scorpions brought to the island died after several months for unknown reasons.

A scientific explanation is hard to come by, in fact neither the Catalan universities nor the Balearic government could confirm evidence of this fact. The little proof to be found is in Arab texts and oral traditions. A mediaeval Persian cosmographer wrote that a venomous snake brought to the island, died when it breathed Ibiza’s air.

Mythology also provides some answers:


Bes the stocky, powerful God whose origins go back to ancient Egypt allegedly destroyed all vipers and crocodiles when he settled on the island. Statues of Bes often portray him with a snake in his hand, symbolising his role as protector. Legend has it that ancient kings used to drink out of Ibicencan ceramics since the earth or clay these were made of repelled poison – useful tips in the days when many an enemy found death in their goblet of wine. Warriors and kings allegedly used to carry Ibicencan earth on their travels and spread it around the tent to ward off deadly scorpions and snakes.

A Persian geographer praised also praised Ibiza’s sister island, Formentera, for it’s “healthy earth, without vicious animals, putrefaction or rotting.” Rather than poisonous mushrooms or stomach wrenching herbs what seems to grow in abundance on the Pituses is an aromatic vegetation of pine, rosemary, fennel, hierbabuena, sage, fig, pomegranate and orange. There are also incidentally no earthquakes, big droughts, volcanoes or heavy snowfalls.


And another myth claims; ‘Ibiza will be the Earth’s final refuge.’ This was apparently one of Nostradamus’s visions referring to the unusual prevailing wind pattern over Ibiza that would keep nuclear and other toxic fumes away and save the island from extinction. Either way many will agree that Ibiza is a safe haven and possibly even very close to paradise.

Thanks to José Barral, Orientalist Researcher (josebarral.blogspot.com) for his help with Arab texts