What is the name of this flag, generally associated with pirates and piracy?
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The Jolly Roger became common in the 1700s. It was the flag a pirate vessel flew just before they attacked another ship, in order to threaten and intimidate the opposing crew.
Can you name this type of sword?
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A cutlass is a short, curved sword designed for slashing. They were popular with sailors of all kinds, partly because they could be used not only in combat, but in many of the routine tasks of shipboard life, such as cutting ropes.
The infamous pirate Blackbeard was really named...
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Edward Teach was a notorious English pirate who sailed around the West Indes. He was given the name Blackbeard for his impressive facial hair. Historians say that Teach relied mostly on his fearsome reputation in order to scare the crews of ships he boarded... contrary to popular belief, there is no record of him actually harming anyone he captured.
Which Welshman became notorious as a pirate leader after conquering and looting the Spanish Panamanian strongholds of Portobello and Santiago Castle? (Hint: there's a famous rum named for him)
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Captain Henry Morgan, better known now as the face of Captain Morgan's Rum, was also one of the most fearsome pirates to ever live.
True or False: Julius Caesar was once captured by pirates and held for ransom.
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Piracy was quite a problem in ancient Rome. At their height, pirates had about 1,000 ships and raided over 400 cities, including Ostia, the port of Rome. Julius Caesar was once kidnapped and briefly held by Cicilian pirates and held prisoner. When the pirates asked for a ransom of 20 talents ($600,000 in today money), he scoffed at them and demanded they ask for 50 talents.
Which of these is NOT a type of ship a pirate would have used?
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Brigs, Brigantines, and Bilanders were all popular ships for a pirate. A Bilge, meanwhile, is "the area on the outer surface of a ship's hull where the bottom curves to meet the vertical sides."
What was the inspiration for the 2003 movie Pirates of the Caribbean?
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Before it became the most popular series of pirate movies of all-time (and one of the most successful movie franchises overall) Pirates of the Caribbean was a ride at Disneyland, in California. The ride, one od Disney's most popular, was also the last ride to be designed by Walt Disney himself before he died.
The "Golden Age of Piracy" is considered to have occurred during which years?
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The Golden Age of Piracy is generally accepted to have lasted between 1650 and 1720, when marauding pirates would attack and rob ships bringing treasure, spices, and trade from New World colonies to the Old World in Europe.
The most successful pirate during the golden age of Piracy was Bartholomew Roberts. He is said to have captured over 470 vessels. He was also known as ...
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Bartholomew Roberts, or Black Bart, raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. It was a short career, but he made it count.
Some "pirates" were not actually breaking the law. A person or ship which was legally authorized by a country's government to attack foreign shipping was called a...
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A privateer would receive a commission from a monarch that authorized them to carry out hostilities against a foreign enemy. This commision came in the form of "Letters of Marque".
Which famous pirate was the first ship commander to successfully circumnavigate the world?
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Drake, who was later knighted by the queen, successfully sailed his ship The Golden Hind around the world in 1580 after a series of profitable plunders on the Spanish Main. Since Ferdiand Magellan died in the course of his voyage, Sir Francis Drake is considered the first commander to complete the trip around the world.
What is the name of the mentally-unstable pirate who serves as the chief villain in Peter Pan?
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Captain Hook
What name did pirates give to ships they successfully managed to sack?
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A prize was a ship that pirates targeted and successful sacked.
True or False: Pirates made some victims "walk the plank", meaning they would have to walk off the edge of the ship into the sea.
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False! Although walking the plank is common in contemporary pirate lore, most pirates just killed people straightaway. When they did torture their prisoners, it was usually through keelhauling (dragging a tied sailor in the water from the back of the ship), marooning a person on a deserted island or remote sandbar, or lashings with a leather whip.
The Whydah Galley was a pirate ship discovered in 1984. Where was it found?
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The Whydah Galley, a pirate ship used during the Golden Age by Captain Samuel "Black Sam" Bellamy, was shipwrecked near Cap Cod.
What did the term "Davy Jones' Locker" refer to?
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Davy Jones' Locker was a popular way of referring to the bottom of the sea, in the context of a person drowning. As in, "he's gone down to Davy Jones' Locker."
How deep is a fathom?
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A fathom is 6 feet.
Which of these is NOT the name of a real-life pirate ship?
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The Queen Anne's Revenge, Adventure Galley, and Whydah were all real-world pirate ships, captained by Blackbeard, William Kidd, and Captain Black Sam respectively. The Interceptor, meanwhile, is the name of a British Navy ship in The Pirates of the Caribbean.
Which writer created the fictional character Long John Silver?
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Long John Silver is the primary villain in Robert Louis Stevenson's classic pirate story, Treasure Island.

Your Results

Bilge Rat

Get ready to swab the deck, you scum! With a performance like that, you'd be lucky to even catch a site of a real pirate's ship...

First Mate

Well done. We might have snuck a few of those questions past you-- but all in all you've proved yerself a valuable seaman. Welcome aboard.

Captain o' the Ship

Ahoy, Captain! Well done. We should have known that wouldn't be difficult enough for an able-bodied old seahand such as yerself. Well played.

Happy With Your Test Score? This video can help you do better on any quiz... even if you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the topic.


Pirates rule. It's just undeniable. There's a reason the Pirates of the Caribbean movies have made about 1.5 BILLION dollars at the box office (so far): people just seem to fall in love with these bandits of the sea. There's something romantic and captivating about the freedom and rebellion of a few salty sea dogs on the open ocean. But, it should be said, the historical reality of the pirate life is a little grittier than is usually shown on the big screen. From the risk of disease, to the truly despicable crimes they sometimes committed, there's definitely a dirty underbelly to pirate lore. So, how good are you at telling fact from fiction? How well do you know your pirate history? That's exactly what we made this quiz to test you on. Good luck!

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