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Posted by on Jan 10, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

Why Did Pirates Used Eye Patches?

Why Did Pirates Used Eye Patches?

The eye patches were not just an evil-looking accessory; they were helpful for living the sea life as well. The eye patch was worn over one eye so the pirate could move between the darkness of below-deck to the brightness of topside without waiting for the eyes to adjust.

With an eye patch, all they needed to do was switch and cover up the other one, which had stayed in the dark for a while already. It wasn’t just pirates who used the eye patches, either. Sailors in general who were often going above and below deck would wear the eye patch.

Another reason behind wearing eye patches was that up until the 1500s one of the key tools of maritime navigation was the cross staff, which required the navigator to look directly into the sun at high noon. This led to a lot of sailors who were partially blind in one eye. After significant sight loss, many would likely have taken to wearing an eye patch over the afflicted eye.

Content for this question contributed by Julianne Alexandra Hough, resident of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA