In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by
ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so
large shipments of manure were quite 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 of course.
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
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 did I.
I had always thought it was a golf term.