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10 Badass Captains That Changed History

Ahoy! These legends altered the course of history while at sea. #LikeACaptain

1. Sir Francis Drake: the first Englishman to sail around the globe.

Not only did Sir Francis Drake circumvent the entire globe, he also helped defeat the Spanish Armada and was later knighted for his efforts in 1581.

2. Sir Walter Raleigh: the man responsible for bringing potatoes back to Britain.

In 1580, Raleigh came to the attention of Elizabeth I for his outstanding duties. Soon afterwards, he was knighted and appointed captain of the Queen's Guard. His legacy includes bringing potatoes and tobacco back to Britain.

3. Captain James Cook: the captain who changed the way we think of the world map.

Cook was an 18th-century captain whose mapping achievements dramatically altered perceptions of world geography. Cook's crew was the first European ship to sail along Australia's eastern coast!

4. Jean-David Nau: possibly the cruelest buccaneer of all time.

Nau is also known as François l'Olonnais, one of the cruelest and brutal French pirates of all time.

5. William Kidd: the legendary privateer believed to have hidden treasures in the Caribbean.

Born in Scotland in 1654, Kidd was hired by European royals to defend against foreign vessels. Some believe that Kidd buried treasure in the Caribbean that is yet to be discovered!

6. Captain Richard Phillips: the captain who survived a dangerous hostage situation.

You might've seen the movie, but this captain is the real deal. Captain Phillips' ship was taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009; after a five-day standoff, the crew was rescued by the U.S. Navy.

7. Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard): the most infamous pirate of his time.

Teach became rather infamous, after being named Blackbeard for his dark beard, which he was said to light on fire during battles to scare his enemies.

8. Captain John Avery: who led one of the most profitable pirate raids ever.

One of Britain’s most renowned pirates of the late 17th century, John Avery helped plot a mutiny and was named captain of the ship, named the Fancy, in 1694.

9. The Barbarossa Brothers: the daring brotherly duo.

The Barbarossa Brothers, hailing from Greece, captured European vessels in the Mediterranean.

10. Captain Bartholomew Roberts: who pillaged a record-breaking 400 ships!

Roberts sailed through the Caribbean ruthlessly conquering many ships along the way. His earned the nickname "Black Bart" as a result of his violent tendencies!

Captain Henry Morgan: the most legendary pirate to ever sail the seas.