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They sometimes have an eye patch and almost always have a cutlass and a flintlock pistol, or some other sword or gun.

They sometimes have scars and battle wounds, rotten or missing teeth (suggesting the effects of scurvy), as well as a hook or wooden stump where a hand or leg has been amputated.

Established in 2005, Pastafarians (members of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) claim to believe that global warming is a result of the severe decrease in pirates since the 18th century, explaining the coldness associated with winter months that follow Halloween as a direct effect of the number of pirates that make their presence known in celebration.

In addition to the traditional archetype of seafaring pirates, other pirate archetypes exist in popular culture.

The first major literary work to popularise the subject of pirates was A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates (1724) by Captain Charles Johnson, In giving an almost mythical status to the more colourful characters, such as the notorious English pirates Blackbeard and Calico Jack, the book provided the standard account of the lives of many pirates in the Golden Age, and influenced pirate literature of Scottish novelists Robert Louis Stevenson and J. Stevenson identified Johnson's General History of the Pyrates as one of his major influences, and even borrowed one character's name (Israel Hands) from a list of Blackbeard's crew which appeared in Johnson's book.

In films, books, cartoons, and toys, pirates often have an unrefined appearance that evokes their criminal lifestyle, rogue personalities and adventurous, seafaring pursuits.

However, no company has an incentive to end the thicket, since they regard their patents as leverage against others.

This has happened with Aspirin (once a Bayer trademark), Cellophane, and other "genericized" trademarks.

The archetypal characteristics of pirates in popular culture largely derive from the Golden Age of Piracy in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, with many examples of pirate fiction being set within this era.

Vikings, who were also pirates, took on a distinct and separate archetype in popular culture, dating from the Viking revival. Stevenson's Treasure Island (1883) is considered the most influential work of pirate fiction, along with its many film and television adaptations, and introduced or popularised many of the characteristics and cliches now common to the genre.

In the 1990s, International Talk Like a Pirate Day was invented as a parody holiday celebrated on September 19.

This holiday allows people to "let out their inner pirate" and to dress and speak as pirates are stereotypically portrayed to have dressed and spoken.