- "Davy Jones cannot make port. Cannot step on land but once every ten years. Land is where you are safe, Jack Sparrow, and so you will carry land with you."
"...Dirt. This is a jar of dirt."
"Is the jar of dirt going to help?"
"If you don't want it, give it back."
"Then it helps."
- ―Tia Dalma and Jack Sparrow
The jar of dirt was a glass jar filled with dirt, given to Captain Jack Sparrow by Tia Dalma as a form of protection against Davy Jones during Sparrow's search for the Dead Man's Chest in an attempt to settle his debt with Jones.
The jar of dirt could be seen as a type of sympathetic magic, as it imitated a particular environment, and was common in voodoo practices used by Tia Dalma. She explained that, as Davy Jones was unable to set foot on land but once every decade, Jack would carry land with him at all times. This explanation eased Jack's suspicions, and he became attached to his jar of dirt during his travels—even going so far as to insist that Pintel and Ragetti did not attempt to "touch his dirt" on Isla Cruces.
After Jack uncovered the Dead Man's Chest, he placed the heart of Davy Jones within his jar of dirt, in order to hide it from his companions. James Norrington, however, discovered the heart, and took it from the jar, leaving nothing but dirt inside. Thus, when Jack confronted Jones and the Flying Dutchman, he erroneously believed he had the advantage over Jones, calling him fishface and a slimy git.
During the subsequent battle, the jar slipped from Jack's grasp, and shattered on the deck of the Black Pearl, revealing the heart was not inside. With his protection gone, Jack suffered death by the Kraken.
Behind the scenes
- In the At World's End video game, Jack Sparrow got the dirt from Tia Dalma when he met her in Port Royal. Unlike in Dead Man's Chest, Jack's putting of the heart of Davy Jones was omitted to where he instantly thought that the heart was in the jar. He also clearly showed his knowledge that Norrington took the heart from him when he was confronted by Davy Jones.
- The scene where Jack Sparrow showed Davy Jones and his crew the jar of dirt was unscripted in the movie. Johnny Depp bragged about the jar randomly. Thus, the reactions from both crew are the actual reactions from the cast.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (First appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (video game)