Monday, January 13, 2020

Mostly-Useless Information -- Eye Patches, Arrrrr! [One of Many] by Devin McCrary

I love obscure, practically worthless information. Love it. I mean the type of information that just makes you want to look at someone and say:

"And whyyyy do you know that? Actually, wait wait wait, better question, why does ANYONE know that? It has no practical value! Like seriously. Why. That's two minutes of my life I CAN NEVER GET BACK. I'm seriously questioning our friendship right now."

I also love people who are facetious enough to actually say something like that with a straight face, but that's entirely beside the point.

I just get so much pleasure out of imparting worthless knowledge upon someone and watching them try to figure out 1.) exactly how to react, and 2.) what in the world they're supposed to do with that information.

So with only a little further ado, I will explain the REAL reason pirates wore eye patches.

This information came to me years ago courtesy of my brother, who is both someone I trust explicitly (oh boy that's going to get me in trouble some day) and a huge fan of pirates. That is to say I have a high degree of confidence in the accuracy of the following information. Also, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

If you think about ships from hundreds of years ago, before we had electricity and when lamp oil was a luxury -- not to mention slightly hazardous on board a wooden seagoing vessel -- you should probably very quickly accept the assertion that below the main deck, it was very very dark.

Pirates, sailing the ocean in.... well, you know, wooden ships of their own... they knew this. And they very quickly learned (probably partially due to trial-and-error) that charging below decks from daylight into near-darkness in the midst of pitched battle while taking a ship was an extremely effective way to die. Quite frequently slowly and painfully.

But they had to do it, because there was simply no profit in sinking a ship from a distance with all its loot still on board.

Being the clever folks they were, and possessing a certain aversion to being maimed or killed, pirates began wearing eye patches over a single eye so that when they went below decks while taking a ship, they could remove their eye patch and have instant night vision in one eye.

Which, while it wasn't ideal, did significantly improve their chances of not dying gruesome deaths.


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