One day during his historic 38-month, 46,000-mile solo voyage around the world aboard a small sloop, captain Joshua Slocum encountered a band of pirates. Incredibly, Slocum managed -- single-handedly -- to fend off his attackers. How did he do it? After noticing that the pirates were all barefoot, he simply scattered carpet tacks on the deck of his boat!
[Slocum (who was reportedly unable to swim) completed his voyage in 1898.]