Manure – An Interesting Fact :: The Big Red Horse

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Manure – An Interesting Fact

manureI have not confirmed this on Snopes or anywhere else. That said, enjoy! Thanks to my mom for sharing this one with me.

Manure. In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything was transported by ship, including fertilizer. Because commercial fertilizer had not been invented large shipments of manure were common. It was shipped dry, because its dry form weighed a lot less. However while at sea the manure would typically get wet. It not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation would begin. Of course a by-product of fermentation is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles, methane gas would begin to  build up in the body of the ship. 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 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 ‘ (Ship High In Transport) 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 always thought it was related to getting tossed from a horse or stepped on.

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