Zheng Yi Sao, the young Chinese woman who became the most feared pirate in history

Credit, Getty Images

photo caption,

Zheng Yi Sao was the terror in the South China Sea

If you were asked who could be the most famous, successful and feared pirate of all time, who would come to your mind? The British privateers Henry Morgan and Francis Drake, the adventurer Blackbeard or the Turk Khireddín Barbarossa (the Redbeard)?

Well, it’s none of them.

It was a Chinese woman, a former prostitute, named Zheng Yi Sao, who in the early 19th century became the “Queen of Pirates” and terrorized the South China Sea.

He was born around 1775 under the name Shih Yang in the coastal region of Guangdong, during a period of social unrest and economic inequality.