ARRR, DID YOU KNOW? FUN PIRATE FACTS AND MYTHS
1. Blackbeard was the most feared pirate of all.
Blackbeard (AKA Edward Teach) was known as the most terrifying pirate in the world. Before capturing a ship he would weave hemp into his beard and light it on fire—an intimidation tactic that made him look demonic. Shiver me timbers!
2. Not every pirate ship used a Jolly Roger flag.
Pirates had their flags specially made by a sail-maker’s widow who took payment in brandy, while Blackbeard had his own black flag featuring a skeleton with horns. The skeleton held an hourglass in one hand, and in the other he carried a spear pointing to a heart dripping with three drops of blood.
Being a pirate wasn’t just for men. Famous female pirates include Mary Read, Anne Bonny, Grace O’Malley, Gráinne Mhaol and Ching Shih.
4. Grog was the pirate’s drink.
Grog—a mixture of rum, water, lemon juice, and sugar—was the drink of choice for pirates.
5. Pirates did have eye patches.
It’s been said that pirates wore eye patches to help keep one eye adjusted to night vision for seeing below deck.
6. They didn’t really make people walk the plank.
Although walking the plank is common in contemporary pirate lore, most pirates just killed people straightaway. When they did torture their prisoners, it was usually through keelhauling (dragging a tied sailor in the water from the back of the ship), marooning a person on a deserted island or remote sandbar, or lashings with a leather whip.
7. Each pirate ship had its own set of rules and code.
Almost every pirate ship had their own set of guidelines that all pirates had to agree to. This included how the loot would be divided, who had what chores, and what was expected of everyone. The most common rules was no fighting on-board!