Myth or Truth? What Are the Greatest Pirate Legends?

Myth or Truth? What Are the Greatest Pirate Legends?

Stories about fearless robbers have accompanied us since the dawn of time. Pirates wading the ocean attract their admirers thanks to film and video game adaptations.

However, the reality is somehow less romantic - pirates were cruel people not knowing mercy. Pirate legends are often not based on the truth. Or are they?

Author: Michal Cemper

The Most Famous Privateer in the World

One of the most famous pirates is a Scot William "Captain" Kidd. His career began with the consecration of the royal court. As a privateer, he watched pirate ships close to India. However, his crew did not like it, and thus Captain Kidd sank an Armenian ship, which was, unfortunately for him, under the protection of England. After returning to the mainland, he was hanged for this act.

The name William Kidd is associated with the legend of Captain Kidd's treasure. According to some sources, it is located on the American shores. A clue was found in the 19th century, when a treasure worth £ 14,000 was discovered near LA. However, it is said to be only part of Kidd's plunder.

Sparrow, Captain Jack Sparrow

What associates to you with the phrase “the worst pirate in the world”? We immediately think about brilliant Johnny Depp in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. The fictional story was actually inspired by a real buccaneer John Ward. He called himself Jack and was nicknamed Sparrow. However, he did not operate in the Caribbean, but in the Mediterranean.

He began his career as a privateer, but soon was allured by pirate life. His first prey was a ship with Catholic merchants. At the end of his career, Ward gained the protection of a Tunisian Ottoman, who provided him with an opulent palace for part of his loot. Here, John "Sparrow" Ward lived to the end of his days surrounded by hectoliters of rum and courtesans.

Davy Jones's Broken Heart? Myth!

Let’s stay with the film for a while. Do you remember the tentacle-looking Davy Jones? This character is based on another pirate legend. Pirates stories label death at sea as Davy Jones' chest. Davy Jones plays the role of the devil, who chases the pirates in the underworld.

According to some sources, Davy Jones' origin refers to the biblical legend of Jonah and the whale - the pirate’s name meaning Jonah's spirit. Other sources proclaim him a real figure - allegedly a cruel sailor or innkeeper who abducted sailors.

Pirates and Parrots? Nay.

Do you also associate a pirate with a parrot on his shoulder? That never happened. Nevertheless, colorful birds were found on ships. They represented a trade item and, like other exotic animals, large birds were valued and sold for heaps of money.

Myth or truth? You can never be sure about pirate stories. Legends about pirates circulated mostly in the golden age of piracy. However, that doesn't mean they don't entertain us well today. Who would refuse to hear fascinating stories about fearless sea wolves?