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, 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 see what could (and
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 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.
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