Pirates ruled the seven seas all the way from the early 800s up through the mid 1800s, which is a pretty respectable run for a band of scoundrels and thieves! Throw out most everything you learned about those swashbucklers from the movies, and read up on these real pirate facts!
The first fact about pirates is that they had extremely short lifespans. Once someone became a pirate, they were constantly subjected to harsh conditions and extreme violence. Pirates also had no access to medical treatment, so they often suffered from disease or infection. Even some of the most successful pirates of all time only had "careers" of around two or three years.