The most successful pirate of all time controlled a fleet of more than 1,500 ships and upwards of 80,000 sailors — and she did it all without the help of facial hair.
When a Chinese pirate captain named Cheng married a beautiful prostitute in 1801, he wasn’t just getting the girl of his dreams; he was making the best financial investment of his career. His new bride, known to history as Cheng I Sao, or “Wife of Cheng,” agreed to the marriage on one condition — that she would share equally in his power and would be given the opportunity to help him secure more wealth.
Ironically, Cheng I Sao’s most famous laws applied to the taking of female prisoners. Ugly women were returned to shore, free of charge. Attractive captives were auctioned off to the crew, unless a pirate personally purchased the captive, in which case they were considered married. Of course, if that pirate cheated on his new bride, Cheng I Sao had him killed.