Cheng Shih: Prostitute Turned Powerful Pirate

Known by several names including Madame Cheng and Zhèng Yi Sao, the undefeated Cheng Shih was one of history's most powerful pirates. Cheng Shih set up strict rules to ensure her fleet do what she wanted. Immediate beheading was the common punishment for most wrongdoings.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The Japanese island of Takarajima literally translates to "Treasure Island." 00:06

  2. Francois L'Olonnais was one of the most feared pirates of his time, performing acts like ripping out a captive's heart and gnawing on it. 03:06

  3. Henry Morgan, after whom Captain Morgan rum was named, was a privateer and not a pirate. 05:39

Written by Curiosity Staff July 10, 2015

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