The Real Reason Pirates Have Eye Patches

By Dave Basner

July 10, 2024

When you think of a pirate, you probably imagine a dirty, bearded man with a sword, a tricorne hat, maybe a peg for a leg or a hook for a hand, and of course, an eye patch. It seems weird though that so many pirates wound up injuring one of their eyes to the point that they all needed an eye patch, but it turns out, that's not at all why they wear the accessory.

In a video on TikTok, one creator shared the real reason for the eye patch, captioning the clip "My whole childhood is ruined." She called the reason "super clever" and explained, "They have an eye patch over one eye so that all they can see on that eye is dark. So when they are up above the ship they are seeing with their eye in the light, and when they go below deck they switch it over so that their eye is immediately adjusted to the dark."

@chelseyedwards_13

Please tell me no one else knew this?! 🏴‍☠️ #fyp #viral #todayyearsold #pirate

♬ original sound - Chelsey.E

Commenters were blown away by the revelation, with people writing things like, "Wow, I was today years old." The video got others thinking about their own past, with one writing, "So I've been squinting all these years going in and out the house in summer when I could of just worn an eye patch."

Fans of the show Mythbusters already knew about the eye patch since the hit series investigated if it worked. As part of the experiment, the show's stars went into a dark room with their eyes accustomed to light and were told to do some tasks in the darkness. They struggled. Then, they did it again with an eye that had been covered by a patch for 30 minutes and completed it all in much less time. So there is something to be said about the pirates' use of an eye patch.

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