December 1st, 2013 by Piper Smith
Along with treasure maps and buried treasure, the concept of walking the plank is more of a modern, cinematic phenomenon than actual historical truth. There are few recorded instances of pirates forcing their victims to walk the plank. But when victims were forced to walk the plank, it was usually for the amusement of the pirates. They would tie cannonballs to their victims’ feet, bind their hands, or allow the sharks to get the best of them. Some pirates actually claimed that by forcing their captives to walk the plank, they would avoid the penalty for murder–since they were not actively causing their deaths. However, there’s no chance this would have actually worked in court.
Picture caption: Even our favorite pirate darling was made to walk the plank! Luckily, Elizabeth Swann didn’t drown in those watery depths!