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Pirates Exhibition Opens at Moody Gardens in Galveston

Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah will debut at Moody Gardens on March 8,2014.
moody gardens
moody gardens
GALVESTON -- Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah will debut at Moody Gardens on March 8,2014. The touring exhibition, organized by National Geographic and Premier Exhibitions, Inc., brings the classical age of 18th century piracy to life by showcasing over 200 artifacts recovered from the wreck site of the Whydah, the world’s first authenticated Pirate Ship that was discovered just off the coast of Cape Cod.

From the creators of iconic blockbusters that Moody Gardens has previously hosted like Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition and BODIES REVEALED, Real Pirates uncovers the true story of the Whydah – a pirate ship that sank off the coast of Cape Cod nearly 300 years ago. The Exhibition embarks visitors on a journey back in time to the life of a pirate with artifacts like jewelry, weaponry and treasure chests full of gold and coins.

Through compelling stories of the people whose lives converged on the vessel before it sank, Real Pirates offers visitors an unprecedented glimpse into the distinctive political, social and economic circumstances of the early 18th century Caribbean. The Whydah, which was destroyed on April 26, 1717 in a violent storm off the coast of Cape Cod, Ma., was discovered by underwater explorer Barry Clifford in 1984 and became the first fully authenticated pirate ship to be discovered in American waters. Still actively excavating the wreck site, Clifford continues to painstakingly recover artifacts and treasure from the ocean floor.

“The Whydah’s discovery was the most exciting moment in my career, and to have the opportunity to share it with the world is amazing,” said Clifford. “This exhibition is a culmination of my many years of hard work, and more importantly it’s an opportunity to bring these real pirate stories to the public as they have never before been told – through real objects last touched by real pirates. The sheer volume of contents that were on board the Whydah before she sank is remarkable, as over 50 ships had been pirated and the treasure from these different vessels provides a rare window into the otherwise mysterious world of 18th century pirates, making this exhibition an exceptional experience for all who view it.”

Real Pirates recounts the tales of four crew members of the Whydah who all ended up on the pirate ship for very different reasons; like John King who was the youngest known pirate on board and believed to be younger than 11 years old at the time of shipwreck. He joined the Whydah despite his mother’s objections after the ship they were traveling on was taken over by pirate captain Sam Bellamy.

Visitors will trace the Whydah’s journey, its capture by Bellamy and on to the fierce storm that sank the vessel, to its discovery by Clifford and the recovery and conservation of its artifacts. Showcased in a dozen multimedia galleries, guests will also discover the reality of early 18th century slave trade in West Africa and the economic prosperity during that time.

Moody Gardens will feature Real Pirates from its opening on March 8 to September 28. The Exhibition offers comprehensive education guides for use by teachers when planning field trips to the exhibit. Advance tickets for the Exhibition will go on sale March 1, and group sales tickets will begin Jan. 10. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Exhibition please visit moodygardens.org.

Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.
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