Seafaring and superstitions go together like the Gorton's Fisherman and a yellow raincoat. There's just something about the maritime life that seems to inspire trust in supernatural forces. Even crewmen on history's most legendary ships held onto practices they believed would ensure successful voyages. These sailors' superstitions vary from the practical and clever to the random and creepy.
Sailing is always a risky pastime, but it was downright perilous before the advent of weather forecasting and modern sea maps. It makes sense that crewmen turned to nautical superstitions in the hopes of safe travel. Some superstitions, like tales of ghostly figures and seductive mermaids, likely arose from the mental stresses of spending weeks on the water. But others seem ridiculous - why on earth would bananas bring bad luck? These sometimes strange, sometimes fascinating facts relate how some symbols and rituals were thought to bring good luck for sailors, and others foretold disaster upon the high seas.
Bananas Are Bad Luck
Whistling Encourages Wind, But Beckons Storms
Unbroken Eggshells Can Be Used By Witches
An Albatross Signals Good Fortune
Women Are Bad Luck, Unless They're Figureheads
Sailing On Friday Is A Bad Idea