The real wars that make up Ares' "deep cuts" on Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Did you think the Lobster War was made up? Well, it's not! All of Ares' "deep cuts" are real. Let's take a dive into history!

Adam Copeland as Ares in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Image: Disney+.
Adam Copeland as Ares in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Image: Disney+. /

In Percy Jackson and the Olympians episode 5, "A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers," Grover plays on Ares' vanity by appealing to his "deep cuts," also known as the wars people don't talk about anymore. While it may have sounded like the Disney+ series, adapted from the books by author Rick Riordan, included a list of made up conflicts, that's not the case.

The near bloodless wars that Grover references are actually a part of history. What happened during them also would be of interest to the satyr because of their uniqueness and departure from the god of war's typical fare of blood and mayhem. Interested in learning about these conflicts, here's a summary of each war and where you can find more information!

The Turbot War (1995)

Taking place at the tail end of the 20th century, The Turbot War was a dispute that occurred between Canada and Spain. The year was 1995. Canada's fishing industry was struggling due to the collapse of the Grand Banks cod fishery that had succumbed to the effects of overfishing and mismanagement of its stocks. The population of cod had declined to the point that policies needed to be put in place to ensure the species' survival.

At the time, the Canadian government were looking for a new species of fish to catch and help bolster the industry whilst ensuring that they did so in a sustainable way. This is where the Greenland turbot came in. But there was a problem. Other countries were fishing the species, too, and they were doing so on the edge of Canada's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). So, while Canadian fishermen were restricted when it came to their hauls of fish and the equipment they could use, fisherman from countries like Spain were not.

By law, in 1995, it was considered an offense for European vessels to fish at the edge of the EEZ, and Canada had every intention on carrying out said law. On March 9, the Spanish factory-freezer trawler Estai was impounded after it was caught fishing 28 miles outside of the EEZ. This came after an hours long chase that included the use of machine gunfire across the bow of the trawler and high-pressure water cannons to hold off Spanish fishing boats attempting to aid the Estai.

The incident led to an international conflict that pulled the European Union into the dispute in effort to keep the situation from escalating to the point of Canada and Spain taking up arms against one another. Fortunately, on April 5, the two nations were able to reach an agreement. Canada's right to eject vessels from foreign countries, even with military force, was accepted and Spain had to leave the disputed zone. Canada's turbot quota, however, had to be reduced further and the government had to refund the $500,000 fine to the owners of the Estai. You can read about the Turbot War in full at British Sea Fishing.

The Lobster War (1961-1964)

Like the Turbot War, the conflict between F and Brazil centered on fishing rights. According to the UK National Archives, tensions between the two nations had grown as Brazil began to assert their sovereignty in the '50s. It did not help matters that in 1961, a group of French fishermen violated Brazilian legislation which restricted foreign vessels from fishing within 12 miles of the coast.

The navy responded and demanded that the French fishing boats head toward deeper waters, but they refused citing a 1956 agreement between their nation and the Brazilian government. This agreement, however, was no longer considered legitimate to Brazil as a bill had passed in 1959 that revoked it. The fishermen called on the French government to respond with their own military fleet which triggered an escalated response from Brazil which included the mobilization of all the nation's ships.

Tartu, a T 53 class destroyer, was dispatched by the French to protect the fishing boats, but it was turned away by a Brazilian aircraft carrier and cruiser. The French were given 48 hours to remove all their ships, when this did not happen, the Cassiopée was captured by the Brazilian Navy off the coast of the country. The government also would not allow French fishermen within a 100 miles of the north-eastern coast.

The species at the center of the dispute? Lobsters! That's what the French fishermen had been after. Brazil argued that because lobsters crawl, they were within the dominion of their nation and could be claimed. The French argued that that was nonsense because lobsters swim and therefore cannot be claimed by any one nation.

They argued about this until 1964 when Brazil and France signed an agreement that expanded Brazil's territorial waters to a 200-mile radius that included the lobster area off the coast of Pernambuco that the French fishermen had entered in 1961. 26 French fishing boats would be allowed to catch lobsters in the area for a period of five years. Read more about the casualty-free conflict at the UK National Archives' blog.

Three Hundred and Thirty-Five Years War (1651-1986)

Yes, you read that time span right. The Three Hundred and Thirty-Five Year War is actually named after the centuries long, bloodless conflict between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly, which are off the coast of Cornwall. This is what happens when a nation declares war and then forgets to pursue an issue of peace. How is that possible?

Well, the incident took place during the English Civil War. The Dutch, much to the surprise of the Royalists, took the side of the Parliamentarians. Seeing it as a betrayal since they had been allies, the Royalists began to attack Dutch shipping lanes. When the opportunity to strike back presented itself, because the Royalists had to retreat to the Isles of Scilly as they were losing to Oliver Cromwell's forces, the Dutch took it.

12 warships were sent to the Isles in an attempt to recover what had been lost during the Royalists' raids. They, however, didn't get far with their former allies. Unsatisfied, Dutch Admiral Maarten Tromp declared war on March 30, 1651. Three months later, Cromwell's forces overwhelmed the Royalists and the Isles of Scilly were back under the control of the Parliamentarians.

The Dutch ships sailed home, but there was no declaration of peace until Scilly historian, Roy Duncan, wrote to the Dutch Embassy inquiring about the legitimacy of a supposed war that has lasted 335 years. It turns out there was as the embassy had documents showing that there had never been a formal end to the war. This was rectified on April 17, 1986 when the Isles of Scilly and the Kingdom of the Netherlands finally signed a peace treaty. For a full historical breakdown, see Historic UK.

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