Curious

Why do pirates have eye patches?

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There are many reasons a person might wear an eye patch. It could be to prevent infection, and it could be to cover up an injury while an eye heals.

When we think about pirates, we think of swashbuckling fighters, so it's not so strange to think that they may have lost an eye in a sword fight!The likely reason for the eye patch on pirates isn't as exciting, but it's still pretty cool. Pirates spend a lot of time on ships. On ship decks, it's usually bright and sunny. Below deck, it's usually very dark. If a pirate had to run below deck, it would take a several minutes for his or her eyes to get used to the darkness. But if the pirate had to move quickly (to adjust the ship's rigging or maybe even get ready for a fight), those few minutes couldn't be wasted. By wearing an eye patch, they already had an eye that was used to the darkness. They could take off their eye patch in the dark and see what they were doing right away, without wasting time!

by Mya Kagan (Whyzz writer)

Exploration

Night Vision

If you're in a bright room and you turn off all the lights quickly, what happens? Is it hard to see? Make sure you're in a safe space where you won't bump into something if you try this. How long does it take your eyes to get used to the dark?Turn on the lights and try covering one eye for two minutes. Make sure you don't peek and let any light in. Then, with one eye still covered, turn off the lights. Uncover your eye. Can you see more easily now? This is a lot like what a pirate would experience after taking the patch off his or her eye below deck on a ship!

Sources

MythBusters Results. MythBusters Episode 71: Pirate Special. Air Date