What’s more fun than bringing a mystery novel with you on vacation? Discovering the real mysteries surrounding the place you’re visiting! Hilton Head Island may seem like a fairly benign, relaxing vacation destination, but there may be more lurking under the surface for you to discover.

The Moss That’s Everywhere

It’s hard to walk through the streets on a warm summer day without noticing the beautiful Spanish moss dangling from trees, fences, walls, and more everywhere. What makes the moss Spanish? No, it wasn’t a stowaway on a ship that brought Ponce de León to the Americas, gradually making its way north to the Carolinas. As it happens, Spanish moss is native to the Southern United States. It was named to poke fun at the Spanish conquistadors who had craggy-looking beards that looked like the moss that grew everywhere.

The Ground You Walk On

In the early 1800s, plantations surrounded the area that is modern day Hilton Head. Certain ground, called plough mud for its job in the planting process, was specifically beneficial for supplementing the planting ground. The Gullah people had a unique dialect, and their distinctive way of pronouncing “plough mud” forever changed the term. Now you know when someone in town is talking about the smell of the “pluff mud,” they are actually referring to a rich tradition from the early plantation days. A word to the wise: if you don’t want to look like too much of a tourist, you won’t breathe too deeply when you’re around pluff mud!

Of course there’s nothing wrong with going on vacation to just kick back and relax. But if you are up for adventure, Hilton Head has plenty of opportunities to do some digging around. Come and enjoy learning all about the legends in the air – or under your feet – all around you.