Did most pirates wear eye patches?


The clichéd image of a pirate with an eye patch seems to owe more to popular fiction than to historical records. However, there is a popular theory that wearing an eye patch was common among seafarers, as it allowed one eye to constantly be accustomed to the dark – useful if someone needed to go below deck and see quickly without waiting for their eyes to adjust. This is plausible since it can take up to 25 minutes for eyes to completely adjust to the dark – not very useful in a battle!

Answered by Rik Sargent 

To feature in our Brain Dump section, send us your questions to [email protected] or message us on Facebook or Twitter

For more science and technology articles, pick up the latest copy of How It Works from all good retailers or from our website now. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine,