Manure...A True Story
Manure: In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by
ship and it was also before commercial fertilizer's invention, so large
shipments of manure were common.
It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet,
but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process
of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas. As the
stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did)
Methane began to build-up below decks and the first time someone came below
at night with a lantern...BOOOOM! Several ships were destroyed in this
manner before it was determined just what was happening.
After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term "Ship
High In Transit" on them, which meant for the sailors to stow them high
enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would
not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.
Thus evolved the term "S.H.I.T", (Ship High In Transit) which has come down
through the centuries and is in use to this very day.