Avast, ye scallywags! Prepare to put yer piratical knowledge to the test. From movies to sports logos, pirates have invaded every aspect of pop culture. Today, we be quizzin' ye about real pirates, buccaneer fiction, and the scurviest of all holidays. Yarr!
Question of 10
The dreaded pirate Blackbeard met a gruesome end in 1718. What happened to him?
He was shot.
He was shot and stabbed.
He was shot, stabbed and decapitated.
Ambushed by the Royal Navy, Blackbeard suffered multiple gunshot and stab wounds before the enemy crew lobbed his head off and delivered it to the Colony of Virginia as a trophy.
Which of these Roman Emperors was once captured by pirates?
Get this: 25 year-old Caesar was so egotistical that when a gang of pirates on the Aegean Sea kidnapped him, he encouraged them to increase his ransom.
Walking the plank is a staple of pirate movies, but how often did it happen in real life?
There is an 1829 account of some Caribbean pirates forcing blindfolded Dutch merchants to "walk the plank." But historians agree that this was a very rare practice overall.
It fell in and out of fashion over time.
Pull out yer calendar, matey! On which date does International Talk Like a Pirate Day fall?
Invented by John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur and Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers, the holiday's celebrated on September 19 because that's the birthday of Summers' ex-wife. For the record, she's OK with it.
One of the few pirates who actually buried treasure was William Kidd, who planted a cache of it in what present-day U.S. state?
Burying treasure was a rare practice, but in 1699, Kidd interred a stash of it on Gardiner's Island, an outcrop by the Long Island forks. The British quickly recovered his loot.
Which pirate movie prompted a lawsuit from the makers of Spam?
"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"
"Muppet Treasure Island"
At one point, Kermit and company meet an island boar named "Spa'am." Hormel Foods didn't like the joke and tried to sue Jim Henson Productions for copyright infringement. A judge threw the (ahem) *meaty* case out of court.
Which of these female outlaws is often considered the most successful pirate of all time?
Ching Shih (Mrs. Cheng)
At the height of her powers, Ching Shih commanded an estimated force of 80,000 men who terrorized the Qing Dynasty and British East India Company for several years. Her real name was Mrs. Cheng or Zheng but the Anglicized version was written as Ching Shih.
If a pirate vessel unfurled black flags, what did that usually mean?
The pirates intended to capture your ship and kill everyone aboard.
If your ship surrendered, the pirates might let you live.
In the "golden age" of piracy (1650-1720), black flags usually indicated that a pirate crew would spare the victims who laid down their arms. Red flags, by and large, meant that no mercy would be shown — even to those who surrendered.
The pirates were warning your ship to stay away.
Jean Lafitte, a famous privateer and pirate, helped the Americans win what major battle in the War of 1812?
the Battle of New Orleans
In exchange for certain legal favors, Lafitte supplied men, arms and battlefield expertise to future president Andrew Jackson, who led the campaign.
the Battle of Baltimore
the Battle of Lake Champlain
Buccaneers were piratical plunderers who disproportionately attacked the ships and settlements of what European nation?
During the late 17th century, Spain dominated the Caribbean. So the pirates who operated there usually harassed the Spanish. Those rapscallions came to be known as "buccaneers." (Don't get them confused with Tampa Bay's NFL team.)