Trivia: Ships From Fiction

August 2020 Multimedia

Time for some trivia! Do you know the names of the fictitious ships in these classic works? Let’s check it out.  

  1. Peter Pan
  2. Moby Dick
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean
  4. The Chronicles of Narnia
  5. Gilligan’s Island
  6. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  7. Treasure Island
  8. Bonus Points: Tarzan of the Apes
About the photo: This is in fact NOT a fictitious ship, it is the Niagara, one of the brigs in Commodore Perry’s fleet in the War of 1812. It is still docked in Erie, Pennsylvania. Photo Courtesy of VisitErie.

Let’s see how you did.

  1. For “Peter Pan,” you may have said the Jolly Roger. This is technically true, as it’s the one in the movie. However, in the original novel, Captain Hook’s ship is actually the Sea Devil. He later captures a British ship named The Wasp and renamed it the Jolly Roger. Interestingly enough, Jolly Roger is the name for the flags flown to identify a pirate ship about to attack — because what’s jollier than a skull and crossbones?
  1. In “Moby Dick,” the whaling ship that is destroyed by the whale is the Pequod. And we'll just stick to spelling that one out, because there is quite a controversy around how to pronounce that one. 
  1. While there are many ships in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the main ship is the Black Pearl — Jack Sparrow’s ship. (I mean, Captain Jack Sparrow’s ship). The Black Pearl is said to be “nigh uncatchable,” and that name is pretty spot-on. She outruns (or outsails?) the Interceptor — the fastest ship in the Caribbean — and the Flying Dutchman, which proves to be faster when going against the wind. It would be handy to have a boat with that capability, eh? However, the actual prop ship used in the filming is named the Sunset. Betcha didn’t see that one coming.
  1. If you remember even just the titles of the books in the series “Chronicles of Narnia” then you will remember the Dawn Treader — the first Narnian ship to be built since the Golden Age. It is the ship that King Caspian commissioned to sail out beyond the lone islands and seek the Seven Great Lords.
  1. The ship from the world-renowned sitcom “Gilligan’s Island is the S.S. Minnow. It’s the ship that shipwrecked on the shore of an uncharted desert isle — pieced together by glue and then fallen to pieces before it could set sail again. Better before than after, though. Right?
  1. The U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln is the ship (or technically the submarine? That counts as a ship, right?) from “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and from “30,000 Leagues Under the Sea” … (just how far beneath this sea are we trying to go?)

          Fun fact: 1 league is 3.542 miles.

  1. Trelawney’s schooner from “Treasure Island” is the HISPANIOLA. It’s capitalized because that’s how it appears every time in the novel, not because we’re really excited about it. But we are, of course, because we love boats.
  1. Did you know that “Tarzan of the Apes” was originally a piece written in 1912? Disney’s version in 1999 doesn’t mention the ship name, but it’s the Fuwalda, and, you guessed it, that’s the ship that crashed, killing Tarzan’s parents. What the Fu-Walda?
If you got more than five of these right, that is very impressive. If not, try to catch up with a good book the next time you’re out captaining your own ship. 
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