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 and a by-product is methane
gas that formed again. 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,
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 ' 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 ', (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
had always thought it was a golf term.
The Merriiam-Webster dictionary dates
the word back to 1526 and says that it is from the Old English scite and
akin to a related word –scitan and means to defecate.
writer for the Online Etymology Dictionary points out that the use acronyms
didn’t develop until the 20th century so a word that is hundreds of years old
would not have originated as an acronym.