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Why Did Pirates Wear an Eyepatch If They Did Not Have an Injury?

It is thought that the reason pirates would wear an eyepatch even if they did not have an eye injury was to help their eyes adjust to going back and forth between light and dark. It typically takes the eyes 25 minutes to adjust to seeing in the dark because they must regenerate photopigments, which send visual signals to the brain. Pirates would often have to go quickly from being in the dark below the decks of their ships to being on the sunlit ship decks. Wearing an eyepatch would allow a pirate to switch the eye patch to the other side when moving between locations and bypass the 25-minute adjustment period.

More about pirates:

  • Early 18th-century pirate Black Bart is thought to have captured more than 400 ships, the most of any pirate.

  • Although legend has it that pirates would often bury treasure, historians claim that pirates typically used most of their stolen goods to purchase women and alcohol. In fact, entrepreneurs at popular ports were known to set up shops that catered to pirates.

  • In the 1670s, pirate Henry Morgan served as governor of Jamaica, and he even helped prosecute other pirates during his administration.

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More Info: history.com

Discuss this Article

anon359822
Post 2

This is interesting. I really thought they wore it because they had eye injury. The scientific explanation is important for us to work in sunny and dark conditions at same time. Thanks!

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