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A sailor wore an earring when he "crossed the bar"; when his shipped sailed below the equator. In the Navy I was in, an earring worn on duty could result in a few weeks extra duty. However, in the days of wooden ships and canvas sails, a gold earring was worn in case the sailor did not survive a shipwreck. The person who found his body was expected to use it to pay for a proper burial. I have heard that a black pearl earring could be worn to signify crossing the equator, but the most common badge of crossing was, and still is, the tattoo of a shellback turtle.

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โˆ™ 2006-08-29 04:45:33
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Q: Does a sailor wear an earring to show that he has survived a shipwreck?
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