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In case you’re wondering why everyone in your office keeps calling you “matey” and commenting on your “booty,” don’t call HR. It’s just Talk Like a Pirate Day!

In fact, it’s the 10th anniversary of Talk Like a Pirate Day. Ever since author Dave Barry mentioned the idea in his nationally-read newspaper column, the holiday has ransacked the country. Even Facebook lets you set your language preference to pirate (“friends” turn into “scallywags” and “like” turns into “arr!”). You can do that anytime, though — not just on the holiday.

To celebrate the day, learn about the real pirates of the Caribbean and how you can turn your next Caribbean vacation into a pirate journey.

You can also check out photos of the Caribbean hot spots once frequented by real pirates, including Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Calico Jack Rackham, Roberto Confresi and Jon Boysie Singh.

Or, see the rest of the World’s Wackiest Holidays, so you can find more opportunities to take a day off — we won’t tell your boss.

Real Pirates of the High Seas

The mere mention of the word “pirate” can spark images of fantasy and adventure. You know, Johnny Depp aka Captain Jack Sparrow. But in life, pirates don’t just flash smoky eyes and put on a good show. They kill. For real.  Tonight at 9/8c, Mysteries at the Museum offers a heart-stopping look at one high-seas drama.

In April 2009, the Maersk Alabama cargo ship was sailing through the Indian Ocean when it was hijacked by a speedboat with 3 Somali pirates onboard. In the  moments that followed, Captain Richard Phillips was tied up, with an AK-47 assault rifle held to the back of his head. Hear host Don Wildman explain what happened next.

In other cases, it’s travelers who end up in the crossfire. This year an American couple saw their sailboat hijacked by pirates several hundred miles off the coast of Oman. But if you dream of one day setting sail for the high seas, don’t fret. Just be smart about it. Stay current on high-risk waters and travel advisory warnings.

And if you’re looking for pirate adventure (safely tucked in the past), plenty of options await — just check out the links below.

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The Real Pirates of the Caribbean

Finding Pirates in the Caribbean

Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz at premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Photo: Getty Images

Actors Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz are on a whirlwind tour to promote their new movie “Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides,” the fourth installment in Disney’s popular franchise.

In anticipation for the new movie, Disney theme parks in Anaheim and Orlando have already modified the “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction to incorporate elements from the new film, including an image of the infamous Blackbeard (actor Ian McShane) in the grotto scene.

Another option, if you’re not into amusement parks, is to take a trip to the Tropics to explore the history of the real pirates of the Caribbean. Almost every Caribbean island has some pirate history, including the Bahamas, Aruba, Trinidad and Jamaica. Follow the steps of Edward Teach aka Blackbeard, Calico Jack Rackham and John Boysie Singh aka “The Rajah.”

Check out The Real Pirates of the Caribbean slideshow to find out where you can sail the seas to uncover the history of a few infamous pirates.

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