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An Interesting Story of Pirate Davy Jones and His Legendary Locker

An Interesting Story of Pirate Davy Jones and His Legendary Locker
The character of Davy Jones was brought to life in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie series. But the legend of this mysterious sailor has more to it than was portrayed in the big screen version. Mysticurious tells you everything you need to know about Davy Jones and his locker.
Renuka Savant
Last Updated: Oct 06, 2017
Forty fathoms deep he owns
Each sleeping sailor's soggy bones
The legend they call Davy Jones
At forty fathoms deep...

― David Jeremiah, The Legend of Davy Jones
An introduction like this really does succeed in setting the tone for what's about to follow, isn't it? Well, for whatever it's worth, the legend of Davy Jones certainly does not disappoint.

It would be safe to say that most of us―especially those with little to no knowledge of sailor or pirate legends―have had our first encounter with Davy Jones while watching the spectacular Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. The character was brought to life by the brilliant Bill Nighy, and was actually based on a combination of legends attributed to Davy Jones. So, without further ado, let's move on to knowing more about this fascinating character as well as the legends and symbolism surrounding it.
Who Was Davy Jones?
Every legend isn't entirely fictitious, and Davy Jones is no exception to the case. There exist several versions of what exactly gave rise to this legend, and we've listed some prominent theories right here.

Firstly, Davy Jones is not a man with flowing tentacles in place of a beard. He certainly does not have his heart stored in a chest as a keepsake of his undying love for a woman. Depending upon the version, he is depicted as a devil, a benefactor, or a god of the seas.
Davy Jones, the Pub Owner
One legend goes something like this―Davy Jones was a British national and owned a pub that was mostly frequented by sailors. Exasperated by the antics of intoxicated sailors, he used to lock them up in his ale cellars after they would have passed out. He would then transfer those unconscious sailors in ships passing through the harbor. The story goes on to tell us about his eventual bankruptcy, following which he probably became a pirate himself. He supposedly hijacked other ships, plundered them thoroughly, and sank them.
David Jones, the Pirate
There exist records about an actual pirate named David Jones, who sailed the Indian Ocean some time in the 17th century. However, experts on the matter confidently state that this person's life and times were to humdrum to have inspired this sinister legend.
Duffer Jones, the Sailor
Duffer Jones was a sailor, infamous for his shortsightedness. Not surprisingly, he had a penchant for falling off board on numerous occasions, owing to this rather unfortunate condition.
St. David, the patron saint of Wales
Welsh sailors, in particular, would always call upon their patron saint to deliver them of any dangers they encountered during their voyages. Also, David Jones happened to be a very common name among the Welsh during those times.
Jonah, the Biblical Character
Those in the know about the Old Testament are familiar with the story of Jonah, who was thrown overboard as his shipmates considered him to be the bearer of ill fortune. Jonah spent three nights in the belly of a great fish, but survived the ordeal and went on to become a preacher who spread the word of God.

In the sailors' version, though, Jonah became the "evil angel" whose presence brought doom to the ship. It is believed by some that "Davy Jones" evolved from the root 'Devil Jonah'.
Davy Jones' Locker
The legend of Davy Jones has inspired a euphemism, which alludes to maritime disasters. Davy Jones' Locker is an idiom referring to the seabed, a place where shipwrecks and drowned sailors lie. Here are a few more idioms based on this concept:

► To be sent to Davy's Locker: To die at sea
► To awaken Davy Jones: To cause a storm
► To send you to Davy Jones: To threaten to kill someone
► To be in Davy's Grip: To be close to death, or frightened.
It's hard to separate a legend from reality, especially when it has so many distinct versions. Davy Jones or no Davy Jones, we've got to accept that the character and its symbolism have enough might to inspire a slew of stories to remember it by.