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.Continue Reading
Parrots and parrot cages have been found listed among the inventory of ships and lists of personal possessions of pirates of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. With their bright coloration and the ability of some species to mimic human speech, parrots were popular as exotic pets in Europe and were more likely being transported for sale than kept as personal pets.
Stevenson admitted he got the idea for a pirate with a pet parrot from "Robinson Crusoe," in which the stranded narrator captures a parrot and keeps it as a pet. Depictions of pirates with parrots have been common since the publication of "Treasure Island." The Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team has used an oversized parrot as their mascot since 1979. In the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series, a member of Jack Sparrow's crew is seen with a parrot on his shoulder. A parrot also appears amongst Captain Hook's crew in the 2003 "Peter Pan" film.Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism
Modern pirates are essentially terrorists who attack ships at sea. While they are very similar to historical pirates in goals and certain techniques, modern pirates use electronics and technology to enhance their ability to function.Full Answer >
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.Full 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.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >