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Random Bizarre Pirate Traditions Most People Don't Know About

    Pirates Practiced Gay Marriage As Early As The 1600s

    Pirates Practiced Gay Marriage As Early As The 1600s

    [ranking: 2]
    Pirates spent long periods of time on ships surrounded by other men so it??s no surprise that some shared intimate relationships. Other pirates formalized same-sex relationships through a practice called matelotage, a French word that may be at the root of the pirate greeting "Ahoy mate."
    In pirate society, two men could join into matelotage and share all their plunder, even receiving death benefits if one died before the other. Pirate mates would live together, exchange gold rings, and sometimes even share female prostitutes. 

    Marooning People Was A Real Thing

    Marooning People Was A Real Thing

    [ranking: 14]
    Pirates did actually maroon people on isolated land masses when they did something wrong. It was considered one of the worst ways to die, because it was slow. Typically those marooned were disgraced pirates who violated the rules of a ship. He would be placed on an isolated sandbar with just the clothes on his back, a small portion of water, and a weapon. 
    Pirates who were marooned had the option to kill themselves with their weapon, but it was widely considered cowardly. Some men actually managed to survive being marooned if they were rescued by a different pirate crew, but that was very rare.  

    No One Ever Wanted To See The Bloody Red Pirate Flag

    No One Ever Wanted To See The Bloody Red Pirate Flag

    [ranking: 4]
    The Jolly Roger flag that flew from pirate masts was terrifying but the most dreaded sea flag was red. A ship hoisting a red flag warned its enemies that no mercy would be given to a captured ship; everyone on board would be killed immediately.
    The red flag was sometimes called the ??Bloody Red?? and if it replaced a skull and crossbones flag, the pirates under siege might sometimes jump ship.

    The Jolly Roger Is The Best Known Pirate Flag But It Has Many Variations

    The Jolly Roger Is The Best Known Pirate Flag But It Has Many Variations

    [ranking: 13]
    The Jolly Roger black flag with a skull and crossbones might be the best known pirate insignia but there are multiple versions of that banner. The first mention of the Jolly Roger came from the 1724 book, A General History of the Pyrates, by Charles Johnson. 
    Blackbeard??s flag, for example, featured a skeleton toasting the devil while spearing a bleeding heart. Others had red skeletons, hourglasses, or even men standing on skulls. 

    There Was A Secret To Maintaining Blackbeard's Terrifying Facial Hair - Using Hemp Kept It In Frightening Shape

    There Was A Secret To Maintaining Blackbeard's Terrifying Facial Hair - Using Hemp Kept It In Frightening Shape

    [ranking: 5]
    Born Edward Teach, Blackbeard was arguably the most terrifying pirate in the world and he built his reputation on hemp. In the early eighteenth century, Blackbeard captained the Queen Anne??s Revenge but before capturing that ship or any other he'd weave hemp into his long dark beard and under his captain hat. Once he lit the hemp on fire, smoke billowed out from his face and made his opponents fear for their lives.
    In addition to his burning beard, Blackbeard also wore a crimson coat and carried at least two swords, pistols, and knives at all times. 

    Most Pirates Enjoyed A Good Hostage Situation, Some Even Managed To Nab Julius Caesar

    Most Pirates Enjoyed A Good Hostage Situation, Some Even Managed To Nab Julius Caesar

    [ranking: 6]
    Pirates haunted the seas since humans first invented boats and they??ve captured their share of famous hostages. In 75 BCE, pirates captured Julius Caesar but when they only asked for a ransom of 20 talents, Caesar laughed in their faces and told them he was worth at least 50.
    While he was held captive, Caesar serenaded the pirates with poetry. Once his ransom was paid, though, Caesar had the pirates crucified as punishment. 

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Pirates have a reputation for being ruthless bloodthirsty killers and they certainly did get creative with the ways they offed people. Pirates also developed some strange habits that made them infamous, like wearing earrings and hiding treasure. Just like the Vikings created odd rituals, pirates used codes to govern their lives on the high sea.

The pirate code was an agreement that marauders made with each other to establish a sort of law among the lawless. It ensured a certain amount of honor, like they could only fight their sailing mates on land. The informal pirate code also dictated pirate attire.

Pirate traditions include myths about a single item that could protect men from drowning, the best reason to wear an eye patch, and the secret behind Blackbeard’s greatest trick. Keep reading to learn more about their bizarre ways of life.

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