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  • Fact 1: In 75 BC, Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates; he famously insisted they raise their ransom demands. Once freed, he raised a powerful fleet to hunt and kill his captors.
  • Fact 2: The earliest known pirates were the Sea Peoples, who terrorized the Mediterranean around 1400 BC. Their sword of choice, the cutlass, has remained a pirate icon for thousands of years.
  • Fact 3: The most powerful pirate in history was Zheng Yi Sao, a widow who turned her husband's fleet into an 1800-ship pirate empire. She retired to mainland China in 1810, opening a casino.
  • Fact 4: During the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1730), many pirate ships operated as democracies, with crews voting for the position of captain; many crews also paid into a form of injury insurance.
  • Fact 5: Pirates remain a threat to commercial shipping today. Eastern Africa, the Strait of Malacca in Indonesia, and the Amazon River have become hotbeds of piracy in the 21st century.

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