Date of Joke: Saturday, 5th June, 2004
Historical information you need to know about shipping
Manure: In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be
transported by ship. 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) 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 term," Ship 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," which has come down through the
centuries and is in use to this very day.