Pirates are well known figures in history and in pop culture. Pirates were robbers of the seas; criminals who committed acts of larceny and violence while on the open waters. Historically, pirates traveled around on their own ships and had entire crews of criminals—lead by a Captain—search the open waters for other boats to rob of goods and riches.
Piracy was a serious problem in the late 1600s throughout the 1700s in places like the East Coast of the United States (especially the southern areas, like around Florida) and the Caribbean since, during that time period, there was a lot of trade in those areas and ships from England, France and Spain were constantly sailing ships packed with valuable goods into the developing nations of America and the various islands in the Caribbean. Hence, the “Golden Age” of piracy occurred between the 1650s and the 1730s.
Although piracy still exists today (it continues to pose a serious problem in Somalia) the “Golden Age” of piracy ended in the 1700s. That said, pirates are still enormously popular figures in literature and film. Pirate costumes are popular among children on Halloween and Disney has even created a franchise off of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” legends. Despite these family-friendly takes on the pirate lifestyle, the real pirates actually lived dangerous, violent and depraved lifestyles that few people would envy.
Below is a list of five facts about pirates.