Piracy is a crime that normally happens between people on boats. When people on one boat attack another boat and steal their things, this is piracy. A pirate is a person who does these things.
For as long as people have been sailing boats and ships for business, there has been piracy. It has happened all over the world in places like the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, India, East Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and North America. The earliest documented evidence of piracy, which happened in the Mediterranean sea, dates back to the 13th century BC, which is over 2300 years ago.
You might think that piracy was a problem only in the past, but there are parts of the worlds where pirates still exist. The straits of Malacca, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean are places where modern-day piracy still occurs.
When modern-day pirates attack a ship, they are usually looking for money. Some of the ships that are attacked by pirates these days are huge ships that have a lot of money on board. The reason these ships have so much money is to pay the people who work on these ships.
But money isn't the only thing modern pirates are after. Sometimes they take the cargo of the ship and then sell it. Additionally, they may capture the people on the ship and hold them for ransom, which means to keep a person until someone pays money for them to be set free.
Many countries in the world are fighting against piracy and different countries often work together to stop piracy.
One famous pirate was Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard. He was a British pirate who lived from 1680 to 1718. He was a smart leader who rarely used violence to get what he wanted. Instead he tried to scare people. Another famous pirate was Wijerd Jelckama, a Frisian, who lived from 1490 to 1523. He was said to have been very strong and very tall. Uluj Ali was a Turkish pirate who was born in Italy in 1519 and died in 1587. He became a very powerful man and several modern Turkish ships have been named after him.
Although pirates make books and films interesting and exciting, make sure you never run into a real one!