Why Did Pirates Really Wear Eyepatches?

Quick, imagine a pirate.

Do it, you bastard, there's no time!

OK, was he wearing an eye patch? He was, wasn't he?

You can't lie to us. <i>We are the internet.</i>okalinichenko/Adobe StockYou can't lie to us. We are the internet.

But have you ever wondered why pirates and eye patches go together like tech bros and Teslas? Were all pirates required to be blind in one eye? Was it a fashion statement? Were they concealing some kind of primitive night vision device?

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Strangely enough, it's the third one.

Well, probably. While this can't be proven without the use of time machines, a pretty plausible explanation says that a pirate's eye patch was for "dark adaptation." See, pirates would often have to move between dark and light settings rather quickly, such as below and above the deck of a ship. By keeping a patch over one eye, it meant that they had a head start on at least one eye adjusting to the dark, a process that normally takes several minutes, as anyone who has gone to the bathroom at night and ended up completely ruining their sink can attest.

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Mythbusters even tested this in an episode, and yep, it works:

So there you go. Pirates and eye patches. Eye patches and night vision. It's either a clever solution, a total coincidence, or propaganda spread by Big Eye Patch to boost the market for an otherwise niche product. Your call.

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Heck, just get a whole pirate costume. Never too early to think about Halloween!

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