Pirates are often portrayed in popular culture as in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, plays such as Pirates of Penzance, and books such as Treasure Island. Pirates have captured our imagination for years. Kids love pirate stories, books and pirate movies!
There are lots of things to know about pirates and piracy and one of it is that pirates can be called lots of names - sea robber, rogue, corsair, buccaneer, sea dog, scalawag, picaroon, sea villain, swashbuckler, and sea marauder. When I think pirates I think about those guys that caused trouble and mayhem around the Caribbean in the 17th and 18th Centuries, drinking grog and rum and speaking with some kind of Cornish accent. Piracy was around from early times in the history of man. Roman leader, Julius Caesar, was kidnapped by pirates! The earliest records show pirates in ancient Greece.
Popular pirate hangouts included Madagascar, the Caribbean, Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. From the African coast to the New World, pirates sailed the seas and they were feared. One of the most famous pirates is Blackbeard. There is no record of him murdering any prisoners. There were privateers too, who were nothing more than commissioned pirates by monarchies that allowed “legalized” piracy to help finance wars.
The Jolly Roger, a flag featuring a skull and crossbones is often associated with pirates. This flag was designed to frighten potential victims to surrendering their loot without having to put up a fight.
Every year on 19th September, it is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, it’s when you can talk funny and imitate Jack Sparrow in the office. Here’s a list of a few of helpful terms: Account (as in “to go on account”): to take up piracy; doubloon: favorite pirate booty was this Spanish gold coin; flotilla: small fleet; jolly roger: pirate flag; piece of eight: Spanish coin; walk the plank: when pirates had prisoners walk the plank into the ocean to get rid of them.
Today, the sea robbers are warlords and terrorists. They have sophisticated GPS equipment, weapons, and fast boats. The most dangerous waters are off the coast of Somalia. You never heard about it? That is because piracy is often not reported in fear that clients take their business elsewhere if they feel their cargo is not safe. It will never end because it’s impossible to patrol and protect the thousands of miles of water. The Somali coastline is a very long one. You may have watched a movie with Tom Hanks called Captain Phillips - The film is inspired by the true story of the 2009 Maersk Alabama hijacking, an incident during which merchant mariner Captain Richard Phillips was taken hostage by pirates in the Indian Ocean led by Abduwali Muse.
Want to read more about pirates? Here's 53 interesting facts about pirates! Or maybe you just prefer to have a look at a few more products of this collection bellow. Enjoy!