Pirates are some of the most fascinating and well-loved figures in our seafaring history. This is why they’ve been depicted by Hollywood, in books, and even through song for years! But a lot of what you think you know about pirates has been altered with some, let’s say, artistic license. With that in mind, here’s a list of 100% best pirate facts for your enjoyment.

Lowdown on Pirates

Pirate were more clever than daring
Pirates tried, when possible, to become involved in battle with only one ship at a time. This is why so many valuable ships traveled with protective convoys. The deterrent a convoy provided was generally effective. So much so that smaller un-protected ships would follow in the wake of larger convoys to benefit from the appearance of their protection.

Democracy Ruled on a Pirate Ship
Every member of a pirate crew had a say in what happened on board the ship. Though the captain had total control during a battle at sea, his power was nominal day to day. The quarter -master was top dog in terms of managing the other pirates for most of the time on board the pirate ship.

Pirates were (oddly enough) afraid of women
Women were considered very bad luck on board all manner of seafaring vessels as they were thought to bring bad things down on the ship. Of course, it’s more likely that they just caused fighting amongst the pirates on board, but there are cases of women captaining ships, or even fleets, regardless of this superstition!

They didn’t bury their treasure
Though this is a huge part of the pirate myth, it is just that: a myth! You see, when a voyage was over all the loot would be divided amongst the crew immediately, and would of course then quickly find its way into the pubs and brothels of the port they landed in next. There are some notable exceptions, however, Captain Kidd being one of them, but for the most part this was not a common practice.

The Jolly Roger wasn’t the only flag in use
Though the Jolly Roger skull and crossbone flag was the most famous and well known pirate flag, it was not used at all times or by all ships. It was mostly seen in the Caribbean at the time of Spanish conquest, and was generally used to scare other ships into surrendering without a fight. Many pirate ships just used a plain black flag when sailing between ports and jobs.