Ever since man learned how to brave the raging seas and travel, the world has seen its share of adventurers and pirates.
Today pirates are mostly criminals who take ships and boats hostage for money but in olden times there were those who yearned for adventure and hidden treasure. The seas have always been a melting pot of myths and legends. Those who sailed across the seven seas claimed to only witness incredible and unbelievable sights from mermaids to hidden loot. The great pirate era occurred between the 17th century and the 18th century when thousands flocked to go on the high seas to plunder and rob but the world managed to decimate them with sheer brute military strength. Though the age of pirates have long since passed, their legends still remain. Here are some of the most interesting pirate mysteries of all time.
1) The Legend of Topsail Island and the Ghost Ship
In the era of the pirates, many crews near Topsail Island used to wait for various ships to pass by for the element of surprise. This quick attack always surprises the victim and makes for an easy ambush. Many pirate crews used to employ this strategy for easy loot. One of the most notorious pirates known for such quick ambushes was Edward Teach, popularly known as “Blackbeard”. As a tall and physically imposing man, he used to tower over his enemies but he still used many other tools of fear to completely unnerve his opponents. One of his favorite methods was to tie cannon fuses or sulfur matches to his long beard when he fought.
Even long after he passed, many still claim to see Blackbeard’s ship sailing right next to Topsail Island. What is completely eerie is that many who sailed near to the island talk about seeing a blip on their radar screen as they pass the island, but no one ever saw a ship. As they moved around the island, the blip starts to follow them and starts sailing faster and faster until the blip disappears again. Many believe that the ghost ship of Blackbeard still haunts the waters near the island.
2) The Mystery of Treasure Island
Oak Island is a small land mass near Nova Scotia in Canada. Way back in 1795, a man named Daniel McGinnis found a large depression in the ground while exploring the island. When he started digging around, he saw that several oak planks were planted firmly into the soil every 10 feet. When he removed the layer of planks, he discovered a stone that had symbols carved on it. The carvings are said to point to hidden treasure somewhere on the island. Since then hundreds of people have tried to find it but no one has even come close to figuring out where it is. Seven excavators even died on the island looking for the hidden treasure. Many believe the treasure to be that of Captain Kidd who used to sail near the region and was notorious for letting everyone know that he had hidden his fortune underground. Was the treasure already stolen before the discovery of the carvings or is it still there somewhere? We might never find out.
3) The Beast that Ruled the Seas
The legend of the Kraken is one of the most well-known monster tales in the world. In earlier times, many sailors and pirates believed that a giant beast called the Kraken ruled the seas. Tales of the beast destroying entire ships and fleets were told every other day. But as time progressed and the world became less superstitious, people started dismissing the legend as an overtly imaginative tale told by drunken sailors. But is it? A paleontologist named Mark McMenamin found evidence that a creature like the Kraken might have existed once upon a time. While he was investigating the bones of a 40 feet marine dinosaur called ichthyosaur, he noticed that the bone structure was similar to that of an octopus. It also indicated that the creature must have lived very deep near to the ocean floor. But what really caught his attention was the discovery of a giant fossilized Octopus beak. Over the years, many people have come across giant squids in the ocean. Some have even caught and photographed them. What if the legends were true and a remnant species from the dinosaur age still survived? If sharks survived, why couldn’t other animals?
4) The Legend of Oliver Levasseur
Here is a true legend of the seas. Pirate Captain Oliver Levasseur can be considered to be one of the most charming and dramatic pirates to ever sail on the oceans. Although he was one of the greatest 18th century pirates to roam the Indian Ocean, he was eventually caught and sentenced to death. On the day of his hanging, he proudly spoke loudly about his great hidden treasure and dared anyone in the crowd to find it. Upon saying so, he threw a cryptogram into the sea of people who came to watch his execution. From that day till this day, people have been trying to decipher the code. Many people even gave up believing it all to be just a prank played by the great pirate captain.
5) The Pirate Haven Libertania
According to pirate legend, there exists an island near Madagascar called Libertalia where every pirate would be welcomed to stay and rest. The colony was founded by pirate captain James Misson, Thomas Tew and others like Henry Avery. According to the rules of Libertalia, food and other resources would be shared amongst everyone. The island serves as a neutral ground where everyone should respect and hear the opinions of others. According to stories, it had a fort, houses, taverns, halls and even a market. However, it was said that one day Thomas Tew got stranded and as he was the admiral of the Libertalian’s fleet, the entire island got ransacked. Many died but a few managed to escape. From that day, the island of Libertalia remains only as a legend.