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The 8 Most Perplexing Pirate Mysteries

 For as long as mankind has known how to sail ships, there have been plenty of brave souls who've traveled the seven seas in search of fortune, fame, and adventure. However, not all men who sought these things went about it in the most pleasant of ways, with many resorting to merciless plundering and destruction to get what they wanted. Despite the last great pirate crews dying out over 300 years ago, many of their most intriguing mysteries remain unsolved, and here are 8 of the most mind-boggling. Do you think you've got what it takes to solve any of them?

1. Blackbeard's Ghost Ship

During the early 1700s, many pirate crews that operated around Topsail Island made use of a very simple yet highly effective strategy. They used to lie in wait until a ship was spotted on the horizon, before chasing it down and stealing all their loot. Edward Teach, more commonly known as Blackbeard, was the most infamous pirate who frequently used this technique.

While there are plenty of rumors of buried treasure hidden beneath Topsail Island, the most unnerving mystery is how Blackbeard's ghostly ship is still encountered every once in a while. It usually appears as a blip on the radar, which leaves from a cove in Rich's Inlet, and rapidly approaches the location of a passing ship, just as Blackbeard's vessel would have done hundreds of years ago.

2. The Cursed Treasure of Oak Island

The tiny Oak Island lies just off the shore of Canada's Nova Scotia, and is famous for an age-old pirate mystery buried deep beneath it. In 1975, Daniel McGinnis found a huge, unnatural depression beneath the earth while passing through the island. Upon excavation, layers of oak planks were found every ten feet beneath the surface. The excavators eventually found a unusual stone with strange symbols etched into it, which supposedly told of a hidden treasure, buried even further underground. When they dug even deeper, all they found was a treacherous pit full of water.

Many brave men have tried to uncover the hidden treasure, but all have failed so far, and seven of them have even died in the process. We still don't know where the treasure lies, or even if it actually exists, but some people believe that the treasure belonged to Captain Kidd, who once said that his fortune lies “where none but Satan and myself can find it.”

3. The Legend of the Kraken

To many of us, the idea of a giant squid that lives at incredible depths and is able to destroy entire ships seems like absolute nonsense. However, Mark McMenamin, a leading paleontologist, believes that there might actually be more to this pirate myth then initially thought.
He says that he has discovered signs of a massive squid-like creature through his investigation of the bones of the 46-foot ichthyosaur. He says that its bones are organized in the same way that an octopuses are, and that it would have been able to withstand tremendous amounts of pressure, indicating that it would have lived in very deep parts of the ocean. In addition to this, McMenamin has also uncovered another bit of hard evidence, in the form of a fossilized piece of an enormous octopus's beak.

4. Olivier Levasseur's Mysterious Cryptogram

In the late 1700s, pirate captain La Buse, born Olivier Levasseur, was captured and sentenced to death by hanging. While on the gallows, he threw a cryptogram into the crowd, and spoke his final words, " Find my treasure, the one who may understand it.” For centuries many people tried to crack its code, but it wasn't until the mid-1900s that somebody actually managed.

An Englishman called Reginald Herbert Cruise-Wilkins succeeded in using the cryptogram to uncover some pirate statues buried beneath the island of Mahe. However, instead of claiming these as the treasure, he said that they were merely a clue that would lead to the real treasure. Amazingly, he then managed to find a hidden cave, where he retrieved quite a few carved figurines, a flintlock pistol, a few old coins, and a 17th-century wine jug. Unfortunately, he was almost killed by a rockslide inside the cave, and after that nobody dared to venture inside ever again.

 

5. The Pirate Utopia of Libertalia

Legends tell of a utopian pirate society that lied on a tiny island close to Madagascar. Libertalia was founded in the late 17th century by the famous pirates, James Mission, Thomas Tew, and Henry Avery. Their politics were generally socialist, and they strongly condemned the use of violence, even flying a white flag, instead of the sinister Jolly Roger. Similarly, they were also against slavery, and allowed all slaves they encountered to join their community as equals.
Supposedly, their territory was said to include a fort, a place of worship, taverns, great halls, and even a marketplace. The historian, Charles Johnson, even claimed that they created their own language. Sadly, the utopia came to an end after Tew became stranded, leaving the community virtually defenseless, and open to attack.

6. The Green Flash

For centuries, pirates and other seafaring men have repeatedly reported encountering a perplexing phenomenon that has been termed 'the green flash.' Witnesses describe it as a sudden flare of emerald-green light, which flashes across the sky as the sun sets over the horizon. Supposedly, this phenomenon can only occur when both the horizon and the sky are entirely clear.

Reports of the green flash go as far back as the 17th century, with the majority of the reports coming from pirates. In fact, an ancient pirate legend states that anyone who witnesses the green flash would acquire the power to read other people's souls.

7. Subterranean Pirate Tunnels

There is a complex network of subterranean tunnels hidden beneath the city of Savannah, Georgia. Many locals believe that pirates used to use it to smuggle captured sailors and stolen loot. According to legend, there's a secret tunnel within the labyrinthine complex, which leads directly to where pirate vessels would have been lying in wait.

Interestingly, there's a building within the town that's known as the Pirates’ House, which allegedly contains an entrance to a passage that leads to a quiet location on the river, which was famous for piracy and other illicit activities.

8. The Lake of Bones

Long Island's Lake Ronkonkoma is the site of many popular and bone-chilling legends and mysteries, many of which revolve around pirates and their victims. There are some who say that the lake was once linked to the ocean via a small inlet, which allowed pirates to enter the lake, bury their treasure, and execute their prisoners discreetly.

Apparently, the bottom of the lake contains quite a number of submerged caves, which many believe are full of skeletons and pirate treasure, which have settled there over the centuries. However, this treasure is also said to be cursed, a claim which has deterred many treasure-hunters from trying their luck.

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