In the famous Up Is Down scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, they manage to make the Black Pearl capsize and turn 180 degrees by merely running back and forth between port and starboard. Plus letting loose the cargo below deck, which feels like a quite dangerous decision given the damage done to the support beams of the ship by the canons, as shown in the scene itself.

However, later in the movie, having many of the crew run or stand on one side of the ship doesn't seem to make the ship move much, if at all.

When Jack escapes the Endeavor by pulling his mad stunt, we see many people run to one side of the Black Pearl and the ship doesn't seem to move even an inch.

Later on, during the battle at the maelstrom, a lot of the crew are gathered on one side, preparing to board or fire on the Flying Dutchman, the ship is listing to the same side thanks to being inside the maelstrom, yet it doesn't capsize. And the many people balancing themselves on ropes to actually board the Dutchman doesn't seem to have any effect on the already listing ship as well.

So, how comes the Black Pearl was easily made to capsize and do a 180 degrees turn in the locker, but was able to stay afloat in much harsher conditions in the maelstrom?

  • 1
    What do you mean by realistic? Like could it happen in the real world because it "does" work in-universe an typically we don't apply real world physics to fictional worlds especially because magic if often afoot.
    – Skooba
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 17:31
  • "unless related directly to a cited work of fiction" -- since this is specifically asking about At World's End, I dont' get why it was closed as OT. Would it be equally off topic to ask whether two simultaneously launched Space Shuttles (as in Armageddon) would interfere with each other?
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 17:56
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    @ZeissIkon - since it clearly does work in-universe, we can only be left w/ the assumption that the question is asking if it is realistic in our universe, thus, off-topic
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 18:04
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    @DarthLocke I edited the question since the comments above were posted. I hope this version of the question now fits within the rules.
    – Sava
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 20:19
  • 2
    Because the scriptwriter said so, that's why ;) Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


As someone who's capsized a sail boat in real life (small one, on purpose)

Because they are pirates and used plotwavium to capsize the black pearl.

But wait, that's a lie. I'd they were to take everything below decks and put it above decks, cannons, shot, etc. The ship would become unstable, making it possible to build a resonant wave with enough force to tip her over. But they still shouldn't have fliipef it keel to sky. as that requires heavy water and stupidity (running broad beam instead of from the storm)

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