Why Did Pirates Wear Eye Patches?

AARGH.. it is September 19 and one of our favorite events..Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day. Have you ever wondered why pirates wore eye patches?

It is a stereotype that pirates during the age of sail often wore eyepatches. According to Wikipedia: This stereotype is common in fiction and was popularized by the novel Treasure Island.

Whilst piracy was a violent occupation and eye injuries occurred, a myth supposes that pirates wore a patch over one of their eyes to adjust that eye to darkness in preparation for battle. That way, when they boarded a ship and were ready to go below deck, they could remove their patch and be able to see well in the poorly lit interior of the ship. It takes time for the eye to adjust itself for darkness – had they not prepared their eye ahead of time by using an eyepatch, the boarders would have been at an immediate tactical disadvantage the moment they went below.

Although the idea is plausible, this tactic does not appear in any naval combat manual or historical account of the era.

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