A Pirate’s sight for me: The genius behind the eyepatch

pirate eyepatchWhether it’s pirates of the Caribbean, Treasure Island or Peter Pan, the typical depiction of an old-fashioned pirate almost always contains an eyepatch.

Most people assume that eyepatches served no more purpose to a pirate than to cover a damaged eye, but recent studies have shown that they may have also served a completely different purpose!

As we all know, our pupils dilate and contract to control how much light enters our eyes, which is why our vision improves the longer we stay in the dark. Simple, right

Yes, of course it is. But as it turns out, Captain Hook and his buddies might have been one step ahead of the game when it came to understanding this.

A popular theory about the eyepatch suggests pirates may have worn them to ensure they always had night-vision in one eye, which would come in handy in the event of fighting enemies in the dark bowels of a ship.

In under a second, by removing his eyepatch, the pirate would now have a quality of sight which would be far superior to his enemies’.

A series of experiments have conclusively confirmed that this phenomenon is not only real, but also extremely effective.

Test subjects were taken from bright surroundings to a dark room in which there was an obstacle course the subjects were told to run. Unsurprisingly, they could barely see, and fumbled their way through slowly.

The subjects then left the room and donned eyepatches shortly afterwards.

After spending several hours in a bright room with one eye covered, they were taken back into the dark room and asked to run a newly rearranged course immediately after removing their eyepatches.

This time, the results were drastically different. All subjects made their way through the course with relative ease, reporting a far superior quality of sight!

The results conclusively proved the theory to be correct.

So while I remain skeptical of getting a peg-leg or a hook-hand, next time Blackbeard and I head out to the open sea, I think I shall most certainly make sure to follow the pirate dress code.

Brían Mannion

Brían is an 18 year old writer currently writing a novel, for more of his works and poetry you can check out his blog.