5 Terrifying Pirates from History

Pirates have become a part of our modern culture. We can see them from movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, sports logos, TVs, etc. However, we sometimes forget that real pirates exist and they’re more badass than the ones we saw in Hollywood. These men are extremely violent, mass murderers and slaveholders. They were the real thing, not the goofy one like Johnny Depp has portrayed in his movie. Below, we listed 5 terrifying pirates from our history. Let’s take a look at them.

  1. Francois l’Olonnais

–  Francois l’Olonnais is one of the pirates who spent his whole pirate life on hating Spain. In his early pirate days, he’s almost killed by Spanish raiders, but instead of backing out, he spent his whole life on an anti-Spain rampage. During his adventure, he beheaded everyone in a Spanish ship except one man, sending him back with a message “”I shall never henceforward give quarter to any Spaniard whatsoever.”

– And that’s just the beginning, l’Olonnais raised a pirate fleet consisting of 8 ships and hundreds of men. Their purpose is to invade the coast of South America, destroying Spanish-ruled cities, capturing treasure ships returning to Spain and almost everything related to Spain, l’Olonnais have shown no mercy.

– However, everything goes downhill when they were ambushed by a much larger force of Spanish soldiers. With all his fellow pirates being dead, l’Olonnais survived and managed to capture some few Spanish hostages along the way. But l’Olonnais didn’t know how to escape. To make things more terrifying, he sliced the chest on one of his hostages, pulled out his heart and eats it like a hungry wolf. And then he said, “I will serve you all alike, if you show me not another way.” And that’s how he escaped.

  1. Stephen Decatur

– Stephen Decatur may not look like a pirate, actually, he was a respected U.S Navy Officer. He was the youngest man to be the first captain in the history of navy, and also the first American celebrated as a national military hero even though he didn’t play a role in the American revolution.

– But how did he got so famous? Well, by executing the most epic and bloody sea raids of all time. Back in 1803, when the USS Philadelphia was captured by Tripolitan pirates, Decatur gathered a group of men and disguised them as Maltese sailors. Then they proceeded to attack the enemy harbor only equipped with swords and pikes. So what happened next? Well, they successfully overtook the entire crew and burned the ship down so the pirates couldn’t use it. It was “the most bold and daring act of the age” as said by Horatio Nelson.

– You think that’s it? Wait! There’s more. When Decatur has returned from seizing another ship, he found out that his brother had been shot while fighting the pirates. His whole crew was exhausted at that time from their last raid, but that didn’t stop Decatur from chasing the enemy ship. He then went straight to the man who shot his brother and killed him. With the rest of the crew surrendered, which leaves Decatur and 27 prisoners and 33 dead pirates in just a single day.

  1. William Dampier

– William Dampier is an overachiever. He circumnavigate the world 3 times and become an author and a scientific explorer. Besides that, he also enjoys raiding Spanish settlements and steal other pirate’s ships, just for the name of science.

– We may see pirates portrayed looking like toothless hobos in Hollywood and talk like idiots. Dampier is the exact opposite of that. Not only he respected the English language, but he also expanded it. He provided the first written examples of words such as barbecue, avocado, chopsticks, and many more.

– Dampier was labeled as the first natural historian of Australia. He’s also the first person to describe things like “large hopping animal” and the “midget bear with a fondness for humping trees”. Because of Dampier’s impressive contribution for the Western Culture, Darwin based his work on evolution off of his observations.

– His most badass moment happened in 1688, where his first trip around the world is almost over. Dampier trapped himself on the coast of Thailand and told his crew to leave him. He then grabbed a native canoe and sailed off on his own. Three years later, he arrived in England with no money on his pockets, only carrying his journals and a tattooed slave prince. In this point in time, he published his first book which then later became a success.

  1. Black Bart

– Bartholomew Roberts also known as Black Bart never wanted to be a pirate in the first place. It happened that he was working on a slave ship that was captured by pirates. When the pirates offered the crew to join them, Bart thought of it for a second and looked at his small salary. And then he decided to join them in the end, because if he didn’t, there’s a good chance that the pirates will probably kill him. Because of his intelligence and good navigation skills, Bart quickly became the captain’s trusted companion. When the captain was killed, he was elected as their new leader.

– Even though Bart became a legendary pirate, he never forgot where he came from. Before looting a captured ship, he would ask the captured crew if they were treated right by their captain and officers. If they are, he would then kill those who mistreated them.

– He then forced his crew to agree to a strict 11-point code of conduct, including articles such as no gambling, women not allowed on board, all lights should be turned off by 8pm, and a brutal punishment where “If any man rob another, he shall have his nose and ears slit, and be put ashore where he shall be sure to encounter hardships.”

  1. Hayreddin Barbarossa

– In the 16th century, Barbarossa was just a merchant sailor. He was then forced to get off the Eastern Mediterranean after backing the wrong candidate for sultan. Now that he became a pirate, he started attacking Christian ships around. But little did he know that the enemies took his base, which leaves him homeless once again. Getting kicked out of different countries for countless times, Barbarossa had enough and went ahead to start a country of his own. It’s named Regency of Algiers which is now called Algeria, Tunisia and parts of Morocco.

– Pledging alliance to the Ottoman sultan, he gets as lot of ships and weapons in return. Where he can use it to kill whoever lived there before him. So why is Barbarossa such a big deal to them? Well, during the Battle of Preveza in 1583, he was badass enough to single-handedly obliterate the combined forces of Venice, the Vatican, Genoa, Spain, Portugal, and Malta.

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