Linda Maye Adams

Pirates and Rain Forests


I went to the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History recently and saw the exhibit America on the Move.  It’s a large exhibit consisting of two sections — wheeled transportation like cars and ships.  In the ships’ section, they had a display on pirates.  Did you know …?

  1. Real pirates never said “Aargh!”  Especially problematic because I had just seen a History Channel special on pirates, and they all talked like this.
  2. Real pirates didn’t walk the plank.  What they did to prisoners was often a lot worse.

So where did these urban legends for pirates originate?  Movies!

It’s amazing at how something that appears — incorrectly — in a movie ends up being regarded as factual.  What do pirates have to do with rain forests though, other than maybe hiding treasures in them?  Well, I have a rain forest in my story.  An action scene takes place in it.  Because of movies, I was thinking of a person hacking their way through dense undergrowth with a machete.

Then I did some research …

Seems that in the rain forest, there actually isn’t much growing on the ground at all because of the tree canopies.  It doesn’t look at all like the way movies describe it.

So, off to rethink how I want to deal with the change in my setting.

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