Avast Ye! The Greatest Pirate Traditions And Facts

Today, most people think of pirates as the characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean films or Blackbeard with his beard on fire. While these interpretations of the swashbuckling outlaws may not be completely wrong, they barely skim the surface of what it was really like to be a pirate. In reality, pirates were a lot less glorified than they are in popular culture, with them being made out to seem like fantastical characters rather than a type of people that actually existed. So, check out these fascinating facts and traditions about pirates to see what it was really like to sail beneath the Jolly Roger.

Hanging Earwax From Their Earrings Was For Ear Protection

Black Beard
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Almost all pirate ships were armed with numerous cannons, and if they weren’t, chances are they weren’t pirates for very long. That’s why Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge was so formidable because it had a horrifying forty of them.

However, the problem with cannons was that they were extremely loud, so loud, in fact, that they could easily blow out a pirate’s eardrums. So, most pirates hung balls of wax from their earrings at all times. This way, when they were preparing to fire the canons, they would put the wax in their ears to create makeshift earplugs.