Pirates have always been a good source of inspiration for books and movies. Since pirates entered the world of literature, they stood the chance of being distorted by the writers. Accordingly, we must have some misconceptions about pirates. Actually there are many of them. In this blog post, we discover top 10 misconceptions in modern time about the pirates.
1. Pirates became problems in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Maybe books and movies loved the context of the 17th and 18th centuries, many of them took the main background during this period. This made us come to a conclusion that the pirates became a problem in the 17th century and 18th century. However, truth is the pirates’ period extended longer than that. There’s evidence stating that pirates were a huge problem in the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea during the 14th century. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all encountered and handled the piracy problems.
2. Pirates had their language and slangs
Actually, historians could prove that the pirates during their glory time used English just like other sailors would do. Accordingly, they probably had no language of their own.
It was during the 1950s when Disney movie “Treasure Island” invented and popularized the sound “arrrrr” and the expressions like “shiver me timbers”.
3. Pirates buried treasure
If you think about it, why would they do this? Still, the idea that pirates bury their treasure persevered thanks to works of fiction. Most pirates would not dare to do this. One pirate who did was William Kidd who lived during the 17th century. Authorities found some of his treasure buried on Long Island, New York, which was then used as evidence to convict Kidd. People still look for more of Kidd’s buried treasure to this day, but the majority of pirates held onto their riches. ‘Cause, like, why wouldn’t you?’
4. Pirates were old-fashioned and barbaric
Actually, the pirates were progressive during their time. For example, experts claimed that pirates had some of the original homosexual marriages. People call it matelotages. To put it simply, it meant a relationship between two pirate men.
5. Pirates were old men
In reality, the majority of the pirates were probably in their 20s. Experts explained this because many people chose to become piracy after trying their luck to become a real sailor or a merchant. These were all jobs for young men.
Moreover, boys during their youth would have less attachment to their home. No one could prevent them from becoming a pirate.
6. Pirates’ ships were huge
Some of them were huge, some not. Of course. Because not all pirates could afford a huge ship. Blackbeard ship was one of the most famous ships that were huge. It was intimidating, but not really always helpful. Small ships had many advantages as well. For example, when approaching the shallow waters, small ships of course were faster and easier to get through.
7. Pirates lost one eye and they had to wear eyepatches
The evidence for pirates wearing eye patches was not much. But if they did it probably wasn’t because they were missing an eye. When you go from a bright area to a completely dark one, it might take your eyes almost half an hour to completely adjust, so pirates might have chosen to keep one of their eyes adjusted to the dark at all times. That way, when they went from the bright decks of the ship to the dark below areas, they’d be able to use the eye that was normally covered by the patch to see. I would call this a stupid idea, but I’m not a pirate. 10 Misconceptions about pirates.
8. Pirate ships were chaotic
Watching any pirate movie, you must be sick of the chaotic scene on the pirates’ ships. Everything was moist and disease could appear when hygiene was a problem. But the truth was, many pirates’ ships were very orderly. Many ships had their own pirate codes such as limitations of drinking. Some could not gamble and smoke.
9. Pirates made people walk on the planks
First of all, it wasn’t the decision of one person, the captain for instance. Many crews were actually democratic and would vote on the fate of a traitor. And having prisoners walk the plank was rare, but that doesn’t mean they were nice guys necessarily. If they had a prisoner they needed information out of, torturing the person wasn’t out of the question.
10. Pirates no longer existed
The answer is, no, they exist until now. Modern pirates have been known to hijack ships and hold them for ransom. This has become an international problem. 10 Misconceptions about pirates