Tittertastic Saturday – Manure


In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything for export had to be transported by ship. It was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common. It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become 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 imagine what could (and did) happen. 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 instruction Stow High In Transit, which meant for the sailors to stow it 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’. (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

You probably did not know the true history of this word. Neither did I. I had always thought it was a golf term. 👿

10 Responses to “Tittertastic Saturday – Manure”

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  1. Oh my goodness, ‘S. H. I. T’. (Stow High In Transit) . I didn’t know that. Steveo, you teach me a great deal about how to Stow High In Transit material. Thanks for being a Such Highly In Teaching us about all of this. See ya my friend.

    Cruisin Paul

  2. Sandee says:

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    I always learn valuable information here. Thank you for all the wonderful public service announcements.

    Have a tittertastic Saturday, Steve. 🙂

  3. mimi says:

    Heeheehee! While i don’t doubt someone pulled your leg telling you that’s the true origin, it is a great story!

  4. Rhonda Albom says:

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    I knew this one. I think it must be one of the first things you learn as a sailor 🙂