Most Feared Pirates Beyond Just the Caribbean

Most Feared Pirates Beyond Just the Caribbean

Pirates are a popular theme not only for adventure novelists but also for filmmakers and series creators. Although we can still encounter this profession today, especially off the coast of Africa, modern maritime rogues are viewed by the world as nothing more than dirty criminals.

There were more opportune times and places for plundering ships and coasts. The eighteenth century was especially a haven for pirates, giving birth to the greatest legends we know today. And not all of them operated in the Caribbean.

Edward Teach 

Anyone with even a slight interest in piracy must undoubtedly know of Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard. This tall man enjoyed plundering ships and coastal settlements, and while he wasn't hesitant to kill, he reportedly wasn't as brutal as often portrayed.

Blackbeard's distinguishing feature was his thick beard, into which he intertwined slow-burning fuses, often instilling immense fear.

His most significant acquisition, the ship named Queen Anne's Revenge, also commanded great respect. Not only was it robust, but it also boasted a vast array of cannons and guns. No wonder merchant ships often didn't even try to escape and surrendered preemptively.

Although Blackbeard was highly successful in his endeavors, his luck didn't last forever. In 1718, the British navy put an end to his reign of terror.

This occurred during the battle in Ocracoke Inlet, where Blackbeard was repeatedly stabbed and shot. In the end, his head was severed and hung from the ship's mast. A bitter end, but such is the fate of many pirates.

Bartholomew Roberts

Bartholomew Roberts is more commonly known by his nickname, Black Bart. Born in Wales in 1682, this most successful Caribbean pirate initially was an honest sailor. However, the allure of quick and easy profits eventually drew him to piracy.

Morally speaking, it wasn't a bad career choice. Black Bart quickly rose to prominence in his profession.

During his tenure as a pirate captain, he reportedly plundered around 400 ships, an impressive number.

Even more so when you consider he achieved this in just four years, averaging about a hundred ships annually.

As is often the case, the brightest stars don't shine for long, and such was the case for Roberts.

Black Bart was defeated and killed by the British near the coast of Gabon. However, it wasn't a grand battle. At the time of the British attack, the pirates had more alcohol than blood in their veins, offering only symbolic resistance.

Čeng Š´

Compared to Ching Š´, all Caribbean pirates were mere amateurs. At the height of her fame, this lady commanded up to 300 ships with around 40,000 men. She rightfully holds a top position in the pirate pantheon.

Before becoming a living legend, Ching Š´ was a prostitute. She would have likely continued in this profession had pirates not kidnapped her one day.

While such a twist would spell disaster for most, for Ching Š´, it was the best day of her life. She managed to charm the pirate leader, Cheng I, whom she eventually married.

After his death, she replaced her husband in his position, automatically becoming the commander of the largest pirate fleet of the time. Unlike many other pirates, she didn't meet a violent end.

She eventually gave up plundering in 1810 by accepting amnesty. However, she kept all her loot.

Is it Truth or Fiction?

Famous pirates of the past rightfully instilled fear and shock in their contemporaries. So many myths and tales were spun around individuals who sailed under the black flag during their lifetimes that today, for most of them, we often struggle to distinguish between fiction and fact. Perhaps it's for the best, as literature and the film industry would be much poorer without pirates.

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