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Top 10 Ways Hollywood Lies To You About Pirates



From Pirates of the Caribbean to Treasure Island (and Treasure Planet, The Secret of Treasure Island and Muppet Treasure Island …) the canvas taught us a lot about pirates. But these films have received a lot of creative license with their pirate story, and the screenwriters couldn't resist inventing a thing or two. Here are ten things that you think you know about pirates that have been optimized, changed, or lied outright by Hollywood.

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10 Pirates were criminals


A pirate is anyone who uses the sea to commit theft. This term encompasses a whole range of activities at sea, from coastal raids or the Vikings to the hijacking of Somali pirate boats. But most people think of the Caribbean attackers who operated between 1650 and 1720, a time known as the Golden Age of Piracy. At the end of this period Disney's films "Pirates of the Caribbean" take place.

There was also a form of legal piracy. Anyone who owned a ship (or was able to get a loan for one) could apply for a brand letter from the government. This was essentially a piracy license. At that time, Spain was transporting large amounts of gold and silver across the Caribbean on gallon ships. France and the UK were extremely jealous of all this treasure and liked to write licenses for anyone trying to steal it – provided one percent of the loot went to the government.

Historians believe that the golden age of piracy came to an end because Spain stopped shipping through the Caribbean and France and the UK stopped writing branded letters and instead grouped together all the illegal pirates that annoyed their colonies. [19659007] 9 Pirates are noble antiheroes


Pirates were not fans of violence, so Jack Sparrow's reluctance to face his opponents has historical credibility. Ships and a good crew were not cheap, so it was in the pirate's interest not to cause any damage. Their goal was to convince the other ship to surrender without bloodshed. However, the best way to do this was to be so terrible and violent when they went to battle that no one would ever try to fight them again.

To convince people to surrender their wealth, pirates turned to torture at the Game of Thrones level. There have been reports of people being tied to their arms, beaten with machetes, their fingers cut off individually, and burning matches stuck into the victim's eyelids.

The branding worked. Pirates were considered so terrifying that many ships offered to surrender to avoid the possibility of violence themselves. Although pirates are portrayed as terrifying in today's media, they don't quite reach the level of fear they showed in real life. [2]

8 pirates said "Argh" and "Shiver me Timbers"


pirates did not have a particular way of talking. They were ordinary seafarers who often came from jobs on merchant ships or other sailing ships. If they developed their own way of talking, it would be an important clue for pirate hunters and anyone willing to give them up.

Expressions associated with pirates such as "argh!" And "Kumpel" were the result of a later dramatization. Lionel Barrymore added an "Arrrgh" to his lines while appearing in the 1934 Treasure Island version as Billy Bones. English actor Robert Newton enjoyed the exclamation and used it when he appeared as Long John Silver in the popular 1950 version of Treasure Island. Newton was given a free hand to lean on his West Country accent, which he later took on as Blackbeard in Blackbeard the Pirate and as reprisals against Long John Silver. His way of speaking penetrated public pirate consciousness and added the words to their lexicon.

This fictional pirate speech is so popular that two friends in Oregon called September 19 International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The date was chosen because it was the birthday of a creator's ex-wife. [3]

7 Pirates buried their treasure


Real life pirates had no reason to bury their treasure. The loot of enemy ships was split up almost immediately and ranked among the crew. The prey can consist of gold and silver, but also of fabric, cocoa and spices. Once a pirate had his share of the fortune, they quickly spent it. Pirates saw no need for a savings account and a 401k. It was a dangerous, possibly criminal job, so there was no time like the present.

There are some notable exceptions. The English pirate Sir Francis Drake buried several tons of gold and silver along the Panamanian coast to hide it from the Spaniards, but he and the crew retrieved it soon after. Captain Kidd also buried a treasure on Long Island while fleeing the British crown, but was unable to return due to his arrest. It was soon excavated and used against him in court. Rumors that he has buried treasures elsewhere still motivate treasure hunters.

Nor did pirates make treasure maps. It would be extremely impractical to have pieces of paper that everyone can use to dig up their life savings. This myth was popularized by Treasure Island's filming along with the idea that "X marks the point". [4]

6 Pirates gave "The Black Spot"


The Black Spot was invented by Robert Louis Stevenson for his novel Treasure Island. In the book, a piece of paper with a blackened stain is given to a pirate to indicate a guilty verdict. If they were received, the pirate would find their justice – which could be anything from removal of the leadership to death.

In Pirates of the Caribbean: The chest of the dead is the black spot a boil that marks those who owe Davy Jones bondage. As a punishment, the octopus chases those who have the mark. A similar concept of the black spot was used in an episode of Doctor Who on pirates.

Despite its popularity in fiction, pirates did not use a black spot. If they wanted to drop a leader, they would drop them. If you warn someone that you will kill him, you have only the option to escape. There was no need for pirates to have the kind of lengthy tension that colored a fictional story like Treasure Island. [5]

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5 pirates went over the plank


The first writer to show their characters ran over the plank was Daniel Defoe of Robinson Crusoe. In his 1724 book, A General History of Pirates, the pirates throw the latter off the deck and tell their prisoners that they are free, provided they are ready to swim.

From there, plank walking was recorded in Treasure Island, Peter Pan, Monty Python, Pirates of the Caribbean, and even Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi. However, there is no historical evidence that pirates let their victims run over the plank. However, they loved terrible punishments such as flogging, leakage and murder. If they felt like drowning someone, they would throw him over the side without theater.

The earliest historical mention of walking on the plank does not come from a pirate, but from a surgeon's testimony in front of the House of Commons. He described the officers of a slave ship who discussed whether the slaves should run over the plank or not to save food. [6]

4 Pirates wore eye patches


There is almost no historical evidence that pirates wore eye patches. The only pirate who carried one was the famous Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah, who carried one after losing an eye in battle. He became known as one of the most fearsome pirates in the Persian Gulf.

There is a theory that pirates wore eye patches so as not to cover up a missing eye, but to keep one eye darkened and ready to fight below deck. Since the human eye takes about 25 minutes to adjust from complete sunlight to complete darkness, adjusting an eye to the dark would offer a significant advantage when attempting to ward off darkly adjusted enemies under the deck of a ship. Mythbusters rated the theory as "plausible".

However, this theory appears to have originated in the 1930s when the United States was examining it as a possible military tactic. A 1939 Navy manual states: “The dark adjustment in one eye is independent of the dark adjustment in the other. This fact can be exploited by placing a patch over an eye. “In a text from 1934 this is known as the" pirate field ". [7]

3 Pirates flew "The Jolly Roger"


The "Jolly Roger" with its black background and skull is generally recognized as a pirate flag. This version was flown by "Black Sam" Bellamy, Edward England and Edward "Blackbeard" Teach. But pirates had no centralized authority, so each ship could develop its own spin on the Jolly Roger.

Some crews decided that the skull and crossbones were too minimalistic and opted for an entire skeleton. Others wanted to install an hourglass to remind a victim that they were running out of time. Figures that stung a heart were also used. Walter Kennedy couldn't decide which symbols to use, so he included a skull with a naked man holding a sword and an hourglass.

Pirates only hoisted their flags when they were as close as possible to their target ship. Hopefully this would give the ship just enough time to panic and surrender. This way the pirates got a ship full of treasures and without work – apart from raising their pirate flag. [8]

2 Pirate ships were enormous


The picture in the standard edition of a pirate ship is a large three-masted galleon with rows and rows of cannons. Although popular with the Royal Navy, pirates weren't a fan. Galleons were large and sunk deep below the waterline, which is impractical for a group of criminals who may need a quick escape route. Pirates preferred small one-mast sloops that could get on and off as needed and hide in shallow waters.

The reason why small sloops have not made it to public awareness is that they are difficult to film. Large ships are visually more impressive, especially if the pirates are supposed to be intimidating. It's also easier to put all of the camera equipment you need on a larger jar than push it on a small one. The actors also have more room to play. So why not get the largest possible pirate ship? [9]

1 Pirates were white


The modern Pirates of the Caribbean films tried to correct this misunderstanding, but the fact still applies throughout the history of pirate films almost all pirates were shown as white. Treasure Island and Peter Pan adjustments weren't interested in historical accuracy when they cast roles.

This was not the case. Pirates regularly raided slave ships in search of treasures and often offered the slaves their freedom in exchange for joining the pirate crew. On some pirate ships, over a quarter of the crew were freed slaves. Pirate ships were also one of the few places where black Americans could gain power. Captain Kidd had a black quartermaster, and Blackbeard was known to have a largely black crew.

Since pirates were primarily seafarers, they were a mixture of different nationalities and backgrounds. Pirate ships were a rare opportunity for people of different races and cultures to mix and partake in the loot. [10]

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