He Burned Toxic Chemicals To See Who Could Tough It Out The Longest
Blackbeard had some pretty weird ideas on how to pass the time. According to another story that spread out from his crew, the pirate once got drunk and challenged his men to see who was the toughest man on the ship—in the craziest way possible.
He led his men who took the challenge down to the hold of the vessel and closed all the hatches. Then, once he was sure every escape was sealed, he lit a pot of sulfur on fire. The burning sulfur filled the air, choking the men. Desperate for their lives, they started pounding on the locked doors, begging to be released.
The other sailors broke open the doors and let them go, but Blackbeard didn’t leave. He waited until he was sure he was the only person left breathing the acid in the air. Then he walked out through the pale yellow fog and yelled, “Damn ye, ye yellow-bellied sapsuckers! I’m a better man than all ye milksops put together!
Afterward, he told his men, “Next time, we shall play at gallows and see who can swing longest on the string without being throttled.” This time, though, his men knew better. There were no volunteers.