1. According to legend, when Blackbeard’s body was thrown overboard after he was beheaded, it swam around the ship three times before sinking.
2. The ancient tradition of ships firing their cannons as a way to greet each other began as a way to prove they intended each other no harm. Without cannonballs in their cannons, they couldn’t take the other ship by surprise.
3. Blackbeard once held the city of Charleston hostage. The main thing he wanted was a doctor’s bag filled with medicine.
4. It wasn’t all that hard for pirates to recruit men to join them when they attacked their ship. Life on board a pirate ship was pretty democratic as opposed to a British naval ship where life could be harsh and captains ruthless.
5. Next to the captain, one of the most respected men on board a ship was the navigator. His ability to use sextants and charts bordered on the magical.
6. Because of his extremely violent ways, Henry Every was one of the few pirates excluded from a pardon the king offered in 1718.
7. Much of what we know about pirates today comes from a book written by a physician who served on pirate ships. The Buccaneers of America by Alexander Esquemelin. The spelling of his name varies.
8. Notorious pirate Jack Rackam once offered James Bonny money to buy his wife, Anne. When Bonny refused, Rackam stole both his ship and his wife.
9. Pirates are depicted sailing handsome three-masted schooners, but the truth is they preferred smaller ships and boats that sat high in the water. This gave them speed and allowed them to get in and out of inlets and shallow bays easier.
10. As violent and notorious as Blackbeard was, his career spanned only two years.
11. Stede Bonnet became a pirate for one of the strangest reasons. He got tired of his nagging wife.
12. Anne Bonny and Mary Read were the only two pirates sober enough to fight when their ship was attacked during the night. Jack Rackam and his crew, quite drunk, cowered below deck during the melee.