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Home to several indigenous tribes, the Florida peninsula was colonized by Spain some decades after Ponce de Léon's expedition explored the peninsula in 1513. During the age of the West Indies piracy, Spanish treasure ships would sail up the Gulf Stream on their journey back to Cadiz. Southern Florida therefore became a natural point of attack for pirates and the Florida Keys a center of pirate recruitment. In particular, tropical storms famously shipwrecked several Spanish treasure fleets on the shores of Florida. Pirates and others flocked to pick through the wrecks and attack any survivors protecting the treasures.