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In actuality, it was simply a result of navel combat. Splinters caused by the wood of the ship be hit with cannon fire and gun fire could get in the eye, gun powder itself can be damaging, not to mention, the chance of bullets and knives landing in them.

So to sum it up for you, pirates wore patches because they damaged or lost their eyes. Nothing else.

Pirates wore a patch so that they could go into a the pitch black hull of the ship in brightest day and have instant night vision w/ the previously patched eye.

(There's actually no historical evidence to support the notion of wearing an eye patch for light adaptation. Mythbusters proved it would work, but that doesn't mean that's the historic reason they wore them. And if it were the reason, why wouldn't EVERY pirate or sailor wear an eye patch.)

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12y ago
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11y ago

In the 17th and 18th century, which is when most of the famous pirates were around, everyone wore hats. It was just the style. Hats were functional, too, to protect people's heads and faces from the sun.

As for the styles of hats chosen by pirates, they sometimes took cues from the navy to indicate a person's rank. For example, a large tricorn hat would have been worn by a captain, but usually not by pirates of lower rank. They also modeled the fashion of the day. Pirate captains were known to be somewhat flamboyant dressers as a way to set themselves apart from common folk and to display wealth. Their clothes usually came from rich men they had robbed at sea. Pirates often took whatever personal belongings they desired from their victims, including their clothes. That means that they had their pick of the best of whatever they found, and naturally the captain had first choice.

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

In the late to mid 1640's, yoga instructors had to battle it out with other yoga instructors on whom would be able to hold the soon to be infamous lotus flower pose the longest. No one could yet beat the soon to be infamous yoga instructor named Pirate Langston Longhorn III, until the late to mid 1660's, a transexual Canadian by the by the name of Hattsworth Bigglesbe came to the soon to be infamous scene of competitive lotus flower pose holding contests in the mean streets of London. They had a 17 3/4 week pose-off, when finally, in the early to late 1660's, Hattsworth's body gave way and he fell 7 inches to his death, on the newly carpeted floor of a pub down the street. Pirate proclaimed, "Tis the bestest competitive lotus flower holding competitor I have ever competed against, I shall invent something to sit firmly on my noggin, since I am about to go on this cruise I just won in that lotus flower holding competition, and since it is May right now, it will likely consistently rain constantly throughout. I will name tis apparatus, a hat! All men named Pirate from here forth shall where HATS, in the remembrance of Hattsworth Bigglebe's lotus flower competitive competition talents, as he was the best competitor I have ever competed against, if you remember that one competition we had just now, in the early to late mid 1660's.

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13y ago

Actually, pirates wore a patch over one eye to have instant night vision when going from bright daylight on deck to pitch blackness below deck. Normally the rods and cones of our eyes take between 20 to 30 minutes to acclimate from daylight to blackness. It was instantaneous for patch wearing pirates!

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14y ago

Most pirates wore an eyepatch because they had lost an eye in fighting (to a sword, shot, or cannon shrapnel). In fiction, would-be pirates would wear a patch to suggest that they were involved in such fighting, and therefore experienced or someone to be wary of.

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13y ago

Pictures of pirates from 150 years ago are sometimes drawn with an eye patch over one eye, possibly because some other pirate had poked his eye out with a sword.

Of course, if they are movie pirates, they probably have an eyebrow piercing over one eye.

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9y ago

Pirate have patches over their eyes because they have one eye and they don't want anybody to see the other eye gone.

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12y ago

ask Andrew glendinning

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