Q:

Why did pirates wear earrings?

A:

Quick Answer

Pirates wore earrings because they believed that earrings helped to improve their eyesight. It was also a tradition for young pirates to wear earrings to celebrate their first crossing of the equator.

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Full Answer

Pirates had many beliefs about wearing earrings. They believed that the metals in the earrings contained magical healing powers to heal eye-related problems. Another belief was that piercing the ears helped to prevent illness. Pirates believed that wearing a gold earring would save a person from drowning. Some pirates inscribed the name of their homes on the earrings, so if they died while on the ship, their bodies would get sent home for proper burial.

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    What did real pirates wear?

    A:

    Real pirates wore whatever they wanted, including the clothing they captured from other ships or port facilities. While many wore ordinary seaman's garb, it was not unusual for a pirate to wear velvets and silk captured from ships carrying luggage owned by wealthy people, and many pirates even wore ladies' garments.

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    Why do pirates have parrots?

    A:

    The depiction of pirates with pet parrots in fiction likely stems from the character of Long John Silver in "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson. There is very little evidence to indicate real pirates kept parrots as pets, but there is some record of them selling parrots captured during their travels.

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    Why did pirates wear eye patches?

    A:

    Pirates, like other seamen of the time, might have worn eye patches to help them see when moving from a dark hold to the bright deck. No historic record exists, however, that confirms pirates wore eye patches regularly, other than in romanticized fiction and art.

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    Why do pirates have parrots as pets?

    A:

    Pirates are often depicted in film and media as having a pet parrot on their shoulder, but this image is most likely prompted by the description of a fictional character from the book "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson, according to Reference.com. "Treasure Island" was published in 1883 and told a coming-of-age story about a young man, Jim Hawkins, and his adventures with a pirate crew.

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