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BLOODY
TRUTHS
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BLOODY TRUTH  #35
Tattoo Spirit
Tattoos and jewelry were used to ward off evil spirits.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #34
Bird Luck
Pirates rarely killed sea birds. Killing an albatross was bad luck and seagulls were believed to carry the spirits of dead sailors. They tasted horrendous, too.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #38
Sending Signals
The Jolly Roger flag meant that safe quarter would be given. A red flag meant no mercy for the captured.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #33
Sea Grub
Because pirates would be at sea for months, they wasted little and cooked practically anything that was edible – this often included pigeon and sea turtle.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #36
Marooned
The punishment for deserting a battle was death. Or worse, marooning.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #32
Black Flag Death
Captured pirates who had sworn to live and die under the black flag were hanged under their own black flag.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #31
Eye Sore
If a pirate lost an eye in battle, a pirate surgeon might fill the socket with oakum and tallow.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #30
Stay Sharp
A good cutlass was part sword, part cleaver: it could split a man’s skull as easily as a butcher would split a calf’s head.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #29
Getting the Axe
Pirates used boarding axes to chop holes in the decks so they could toss grenades in. They also used them to split skulls.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #28
Captive Audience
Captured pirates were often forced to listen to a sermon before they were hanged.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #27
Drunk Drifting
Pirates would often get so drunk and drift away to their death. By the time they would sober up it was too late.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #26
Die By The Sword
The pirate's preferred sword was the cutlass, followed by the broadsword. Only a few used thrusting swords.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #21
Screaming At The Gods
Pirates believed whistling at sea would cause a disastrous storm.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #25
Battle Wise
Pirate Captains only had absolute authority during battle.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #24
Clean and Mean
For many pirates, the only time they had a bath was when it rained or they fell into the sea.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #15
Bone Appetit
When food ran out at sea, some pirate crews ate leather scraps, rats and each other.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #23
Mutilated
The worst pirates mutilated their prisoners alive.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #22
Hammered
A "Double Head Hammered Shot" from a cannon could tear a ship in half.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #18
Kingdom of Rats
Pirates would kill hundreds of rats on a single voyage. They’d bite through ropes, food, and pirates.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #20
Wood Shrapnel
Pirates were killed more often by wood splinters from explosions than cannonballs that caused them.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #13
Bunk Mates
Some pirate crews slept on the deck anywhere they pleased like dogs.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #8
Rum Sword
Pirates opened bottles of wine and rum by striking their necks off with their cutlasses.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #1
Permission To Board
Pirates usually did not permit women aboard ship because the crew would fight over them.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #6
Severance Pay
Pirates who lost limbs in battle earned an extra cut of the loot.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #4
Surgery At Sea
Even a small cut could turn gangrenous. The cure? Cut off the limb.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #2
Zero Tolerance
The mutilated bodies of pirates who stole from their crew were left at the closest port of call to fend for themselves.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #3
Bloodied Flesh
If a pirate lost an eye in battle, the surgeon might stuff the socket with tallow & oakum & cover it with a patch
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BLOODY TRUTH  #9
Caged Beasts
Captured pirates were tarred and hung in iron cages as punishment.
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BLOODY TRUTH  #12
Bite The Bullet
Surgeons wouldn’t give patients anything for the pain during an operation, not even alcohol.