Pirate History Facts


Learn About Real Pirate History!

Pirates believed that piercing their ears would improve eyesight.

If a Pirate Captain thought there was a chance that he would be captured, he would change out of his expensive, fancy clothes. That way he could pretend they were just a part of the crew, and not the leader of the Piracy operation.

Most Pirating happened between 1690 and 1720.

The black “Jolly Roger” flag with white skull and crossbones was designed to be frightening, but had a version with a red background instead of black that was even more terrifying. Red meant no mercy would be taken!

Each Pirate Captain had his own Code of Conduct. Even though Pirates stole to get their treasure, on most ships stealing between shipmates was strictly forbidden and had harsh punishments.

No one has ever actually found a hidden Pirate treasure map. Pirates usually did not live long full lives, and tended to spend all of their riches quickly. If there are Pirate treasure maps still out there, they are hidden very well!

There’s no historic proof that Pirates were ever made to walk the plank. It is thought to completely be a Hollywood myth.

So many Pirates had eye patches and wooden legs, because ships were extremely dangerous places to work and Pirates often lost limbs and eyes.

A gang of Pirates from 1714 called the “Flying Gang” were the inspiration behind Jack Sparrow and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Piracy dates back as far as ancient Greece, and still exists today. Modern Pirates attack container ships, tanker ships, and sometimes even cruise ships in the sea outside areas like Somalia, and the Straits of Malacca.

Real historical Pirates didn’t say “Arrr” and “Matey” as much as you think they did! Early Hollywood movies about Pirates featured an actor with a thick accent, which caused the ‘R’ to roll. This created a style for Pirate speech, but it is not historically accurate.


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