A stinky situation
Supplies in the 16th and 17th centuries were transported by ship. One product, needed by agricultural interests, was manure. Collectors would bundle the lighter, dry manure.
The bundles were stored below deck for the journey, and on the open sea, salt water and storms often soaked cargo in the lower holds. Wet weather returned manure to its original form activating the fermentation process; increasing methane gas.
A ship’s lantern, in close proximity to the stowed manure, caused explosions and the loss of ships.
The British Admiralty directed sailors to stow the manure bundles up high and off the lower decks to eliminate water contact. The decree also insisted that all bundles be stamped with an acronym identifying; Stow High In Transit.