Advertisement - Scroll down for content
Advertisement - Scroll down for content
Ye Be Warned: Pirate Facts Ahead (10 Photos)
Pirates were some bad ass mother f*ckers. We’ve always known that much. But is what we know just Hollywood’s version of things?
Pirates had strict rules and regulations.
These rules were taken extremely seriously and if broken, you paid a hefty price. You could be thrown overboard, marooned on an island, or worse. Rules included:
– Do NOT steal from fellow pirate.
-Lights out (candles blown out) by 8. If anyone were to stay up and drink, they had to do it on the deck with no light.
-Every man must keep his sword and gun cleaned and ready for battle at all times.
-You do not settle disputes on the ship. Quarrels will be settled on land with swords or guns.
There were women pirates.
Although it was pretty damn rare, there have been documented cases of privileged females who had decided to make the switch to piracy. Most notably
Anne Bonny and Mary Read , who are the only known women ever convicted of piracy during the 18th century- the golden age of piracy.
Pirates rarely buried their loot.
Like a lot of us these days, pirates wanted to spend their winnings as soon as they got it- mostly on rum and a good time. Secondly, a lot of the ‘treasures’ they looted were things like food, cocoa, and fabric- they would be ruined if buried. William Kidd was an example of the rare occasion in which a pirate would bury his treasure. He had done so in the hopes of clearing his name from acts related to piracy.
A pirate’s career was short.
Being an extremely dangerous profession, consisting of battles both with enemy ships and your own crew, a pirate’s life was typically short but sweet. Harsh living conditions also contributed to short lived careers. Even the famous Blackbeard was only active for a few years.
Pirates came from all social classes.
It is a common misconception that pirates were thugs who couldn’t amount to anything else. However, most pirates had taken up piracy because it was a better alternative for a good living than what they were already doing. Some pirates such as
William Kidd came from wealth. Kidd had actually turned into a pirate, while on a trip to hunt for pirates.
Davy Jones Locker.
This term has been around since the 1700’s. Davy Jones was nautical slang for the devil. Being “sent to Davy Jones” implied you were going to be killed. Being “sent to Davy Jones’ locker” implied that you weren’t getting into heaven. It is unclear where the term originated. One theory is that it came from an incompetent sailor or pub owner who would kidnap sailors.
Walking the plank rarely happened.
Though there are a few accounts of walking the plank, it was never a common punishment. A common punishment was “Keelhauling”, in which you were tied to a rope that was looped underneath the ship, thrown overboard, and dragged under and back out the other side. As if being held under water wasn’t bad enough, the bottom of the ship was usually covered in barnacles, leaving victims with severe cuts and sometimes decapitated. Just, not cool at all.
Pirates loved their ear piercings.
Yes, it made them look more distinct, but they did this because they thought that having precious metals pierced in your ears gave them better eyesight. The most popular metals pirates had pierced were gold and silver, of course.
A “Jonah” was a man of bad luck.
As early as 1611, there were written accounts of someone who would bring bad luck to a vessel being labelled a “Jonah”. Such people were thrown overboard. If the bad luck persisted, the pirates would throw the original accuser of the Jonah overboard as well- to make up for the fact that they had thrown an “innocent” man overboard initially.
A Pirate Flag was called a “Jolly Roger”.
Although it is hard to pinpoint where the term had originally developed (due to there being multiple different accounts) the term “Jolly Roger” was the general term used for a flag on a pirate ship that was about to attack in the 18th century. There are plenty of versions of the iconic image- some pirates had a full skeleton with a spear and a heart on their flags.
Today, the symbol is used to warn people of poison, which is still pretty scary. But it isn’t as scary as seeing a big ass ship coming towards you with a Jolly Roger flapping around in the wind.