Due to the coverage of piracy in books and films, the real truths about pirates have become misty. Unless you are a historian who specialises in pirates then it is very likely that the things you know about pirates are mostly myths. Here are the 5 most common myths about pirates, followed with reasons that explain why they just aren't true.
Walking The Plank Didn't Happen
Every film that contains pirates, from Peter Pan to Pirates of The Caribbean, contains at least one scene with someone having to walk the plank. There is no solid evidence that suggests that making people walk the plank was a punishment that was frequently used amongst pirates. Pirates tended to use other punishments such as whipping or marooning people on islands.
Pirates Didn't Bury Their Treasure
Most people have read a book or seen a film that contains a treasure map with an X marked on to indicate where a pirates loot is buried. The loot promised is usually a chest of solid gold coins or a mountain of items made from pure gold. Unfortunately this didn't happen. Instead treasure or loot that was gathered from a raid on a port or island was usually split between the entire crew. Another reason that pirates didn't bury their treasure was due to the fact that most of the goods that they seized weren't gold. They were often just basic items such as food and drink, so why would they want to bury that?
Not All Pirates Were Men
Every famous pirate seems to me a man. However not all pirates were men: there were actually a few women pirates, it was just much more of a rare occurrence. There are many examples of female pirates who were part of large pirate crews that navigated the oceans. Many of these female pirates actually avoided punishment because they were female.
Pirates Were Not Necessarily Criminals
This fact is often extremely hard to believe as all stories of pirates paint the picture of them as the foulest criminals there are. Pirates are always being chased by the good guys in both films and books. But this isn't the truth as during times of war many governments actually issued the attacking of enemy ports and vessels. The items that were stolen and kept could be kept by those who carried out the raid. The governments of the ports raided would consider them pirates but the governments that issued the go ahead would not.
Pirates Did Not Last Long
Many people think that pirates simply retired from piracy after a while and used their treasure has a nice retirement fund. But the sorry truth is pirates didn't last long at all. Even the most famous pirates were only around for 5 years at a most. Conditions aboard vessels weren't great and there were no medical facilities available. This meant that a lot of pirates died due to diseases. Also due to the nature of piracy, and all the raids at battles that took place many pirates ended up dead pretty quickly.
This is a guest post by Daniel Roberts. Occasional guest blogger on online shopping and full time blogger on investing in precious metals. Daniel currently represents Regal Assets the best source on the web to find gold investment opportunities online.
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