When I was a child and we had a summer home on the Chesapeake, my brother and I would ride out to the abandoned lighthouse on a small rock island and play pirates. Even as children, pirates and gold, swords, ships and rum sounded quite glamorous.
Of course, Disney knew the appeal of pirates when he put in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I always had a dream of getting a chance to go in there with a dozen good friends, a lot of rum, and party with the characters as they are running and playing music.
The movie version of the ride starring Johnny Depp started a whole new surge of excitement about pirates, mostly because he made it look very sexy and forbidden.
Today, there are treasure hunters still looking to locate pirate gold. One of the most famous ones is Oak Island. This location in Nova Scotia has been the place of much speculation about not only a potential pirate booty, but also a rigged hiding place that makes it nearly impossible to ever retrieve. For over 200 years people have been digging in what most believe is a sinkhole, believing they have found the rigged site of pirates' treasure. There were claims skulls and boxes and things were found down there just before a cave-in, but nothing was ever proven, and yet the legend and the hope continue to this day.
A sword was found from Blackbeard's flagship that went down in the 1700s off off North Carolina--this sword (above) is believed to have been his sword.
The movie ("Goonies" which I do believe is everyone's fav of the kid movies) carried the pirate plot to a fun new level, combining a Pirates of the Caribbean, Home Alone and Oak Island scenario in one. One-eyed Willie was the pirate the kids sought and his treasure boat hidden away in a wet cave.
Of course, there's one day a year we all enjoy being able to say "ARGH" and costume shops make it too easy -