Keelhauling was practiced by pirates as a way to punish members of the crew who disobeyed the code of conduct. Each pirate ship had its own rules. Some of the common ones were: no girls on board, no stealing, no secrets, no violence, and no unclean weapons.

Keelhauling involved the guilty party being tied to a rope and dragged under and across the belly of the ship so the barnacles scraped away his skin. This punishment was often fatal, especially if a shark or two showed up to participate in the show.

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