“THE NON-EXISTENT KINGDOM IN THE HIMALAYAS”

There is a legend that affirms the existence, in the heart of the Himalayas, of a non-existent kingdom called Shambala where there is no disease nor death and where people are perpetually young. There is another legend that not only questions this statement but all those from the same source. This non-existent kingdom has been the goal of numerous expeditions organized by Westerners, as well as the goal of numerous jokes made up by Easterners. In 1867 a British expedition set off from Brighton in search of Shambala but somehow ended up in a used car lot of Iowa City, Iowa, United States. Two years later a German expedition suffered the same fate. As a result of these failures, the US government forced the owner of the aforementioned business to change its name of “Shambala” for another that did not cause so much confusion. Years later, in 1912, an adventurer named Charles Sherwood organized a third expedition in search of the non-existent kingdom in the Himalayas, and this time he found it, but on his return he preferred not to speak about it. Interestingly, Sherwood ended up buying the used car lot in Iowa City and winning a lawsuit against the federal government to put back its original name of “Shambala”, which gave rise to new confusions. Meanwhile, in the East began to circulate the legend about a non-existent used cars lot in Iowa City where they made very good offers for an old Chevrolet. But all the expeditions organized in its search ended in failure. Finally, in 1920, when the League of Nations was created, the first thing it did was to prohibit the organization of expeditions to non-existent sites, since they were nothing more than a waste of time or, at worst, a covert advertising campaign of used car lots.

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