Awesome Pirate Facts You Probably Didn't Know!
Pirates often didn't get enough vitamin C while on long voyages which resulted in them getting a disease called "crickets" that caused them to go blind in one eye. This is why pirates often are depicted wearing eye-patches.
When a pirate said "shiver me timbers" it was actually a request for another pirate to shave an especially difficult to reach portion of his back. While pirates would allow their faces and chests to get hairy, there was a strong superstition against hairy backs. By the way, "shiver" means "shave" and "timbers" means "lower back."
Blackbeard's peg leg was a medical necessity, he lost his leg to diabetes, but all the other pirates got wooden legs as a fashion choice. Some of the peg legs used by pirates were actually quite gaudy and covered in jewels.
The combination to Davy Jones' Locker was right 32, left 17, right 26.
The golden age of pirates was 1764-1856, but there are still pirates today. Today's pirates are not the colorful figures of the past, just boring pretenders to the throne.
Although much is made of the fact that pirates used the phrase "arrrrrr", actual pirates actually punctuated their sentences with the letter "q." For instance, "Q, me treasure is over there, matey."
Gilbert and Sullivan were the two most dangerous pirates to ever live. Born conjoined twins, they were finally blown apart during a vicious sea battle with a British Major General when an errant cannonball struck their shared hip. While together, they were considered to be the King of Pirates. Apart, they were forced to retire to a life in the theater, reenacting their final battle in Penzance for pennies a day.
While it was perfectly fine to use an enemies skull as a goblet, it was considered rude to use their entire vivisected head as a puppet. Especially if you mocked them by making their own head talk in a high-pitched voice.
Female pirates were very common and much prized for their hair-free lower backs.
Maps with x's to mark the spot are a creation of the movies, pirates would simply memorize where they left their treasure and communicate it to others through dance.
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Copyright 2003 David Wahl