At the end of On Stranger Tides, Jack takes the Pearl from a shelf of ships in a bottle; Each of which is almost certainly, given the on-screen evidence, a real full-size ship that has been shrunken down to fit in a bottle. There is no mention that I recall of how this was done, so it's understandable that Jack may be confused as to how to restore the Pearl without damaging it. Which would explain hesitancy in trying anything.

However, Jack has an literal armada of bottled ships. Based on the size of the sack Gibbs was carrying, I think it's safe to estimate 10-25 ships in total. Given that the Pearl was the only one he really cared about, and given the importance of restoring the Pearl, why would Jack not have experimented, trial-and-error style, on the other ships to determine how to restore them?

Keep in mind that in Dead Mean Tell No Tales it's made clear that restoring a ship requires you to just break the bottle and toss it in the ocean. This seems like the most obvious thing to try, and I would expect Jack would succeed on the first ship he attempts it on. Even if he didn't, I would think at least one bottle would break being carried around in a sack like that. By the time DMTNT starts Jack should have an entire fleet terrorizing the ocean.

Was this ever explained, or is this a plot hole?

  • 3
    What is a plot hole?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Apr 16, 2018 at 14:36
  • 1
    As far as I know about Cap'n Jack Sparrow, he never wanted to terrorize anyone. All he wanted was his Pearl, his crew (not very much) and most importantly, his RUM. I don't remember any instance in the franchise indicating that Jack wanted to dominate the proverbial seven seas.
    – Shreedhar
    Apr 16, 2018 at 15:10
  • Given that Disney plays fast and loose with POTC canon and that the films don't say anything about why he didn't try, this is dangerously close to being a Primarily Opinion Based question.
    – amflare
    Apr 16, 2018 at 15:12
  • @Shreedhar I didn't mean that statement to be taken literally. But he was a pirate, and he seemed to want, more than anything, freedom on the seas, which great power would bring him (take what you can, give nothing back). I don't think he would necessarily try to terrorize anyone, but I think his station and unpredictable nature would instill terror in others.
    – Nicholas
    Apr 16, 2018 at 15:27
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    @Jules No that's not a plot hole. Just because you don't do something doesn't mean it's a plot hole. I'm a programmer and once spent 30 minutes trying to work out why my monitor wasn't working and it turned out it wasn't switched on. You'd think I'd have checked that but apparently didn't. It was the most obvious thing to check, out of character for me but that doesn't mean it was a plot/life hole.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Apr 16, 2018 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


The Sword of Triton is required to restore the Black Pearl to its original state.

The sword was in Captain Barbossa's possession following Stranger Tides. It was not until the conflict with Captain Salazar in Dead Men Tell No Tales that Jack ran into Barbossa (or rather, Barbosa sought out Jack).

  • 2
    your answer is quite intriguing and quite frankly, I'm inclined to support this theory. It would be cooler if you could add more details (like quotes from the movies, the director's interview etc.).
    – Shreedhar
    Apr 16, 2018 at 17:17
  • @Shreedhar I'll work on updating it with more concrete evidence. I'm not sure if there's anything more solid than this being strongly implied. Apr 16, 2018 at 17:46
  • I completely missed this possibility, but given the on-screen evidence it's about the only thing that makes sense. But supporting evidence would help validate the answer.
    – Nicholas
    Apr 16, 2018 at 18:27
  • I'm having trouble finding evidence outside of Wiki's (DMTNT screenplay continues to evade me, and no evidence in OST screenplay) Apr 16, 2018 at 18:45
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    I went back and rewatched this scene last night. Barbosa does talk to his sword, essentially commanding it to life the miniaturization curse, just before stabbing the bottle. I can't believe I missed that the first time through.
    – Nicholas
    Apr 17, 2018 at 16:36

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