The Superstitions Surrounding Bananas On Boats
“Are you curious about the superstition surrounding bananas on fishing boats? It’s a long-held belief that bananas bring bad luck to those at sea. In this article, we will provide you with a list of reasons why boaters might not want this forbidden fruit on board.
The History Of Bananas Being Bad Luck On Boats
The exact origin of why boaters and fishermen consider Bananas to be Bad Luck is up for debate. Some have said it dates back to the 1700s when sailors would find shipwrecks surrounded by bananas floating on the surface.
Others say the reasons might be more practical, such as the attraction of pests that would infest the ship and spread diseases.
Nevertheless, bananas are not very popular among mariners, and there are plenty of reasons why (See Below).
7 Reasons Why Bananas Might Be Bad Luck On Boats:
- Superstition: Some sailors believe that bananas could bring tragedy to their voyage by inviting bad weather or running aground, and fishermen believe they scare away fish.
- Pest infestation: Bananas were once believed to attract pests, such as weevils, roaches, and spiders. These insects could not only damage the ship and her other cargo, but they would also spread disease among the crew and potentially be poisonous. It’s no wonder these crews thought bananas were bad luck!!
- Ethylene gas production: As bananas ripen, they produce a gas called ethylene, which can accelerate the ripening of other nearby fruits and vegetables. This can be a problem on a boat, where the confined space and warm temperatures can cause the ethylene gas produced by ripe bananas to build up and destroy other cargo on board.
- Limited storage space: On a boat, space is often at a premium. Bringing bananas on board may not be practical due to the limited space available for storage.
- Short shelf life: Bananas have a relatively short shelf life compared to other types of fruit, which means that they may not last as long on a voyage. This can be a problem for sailors who rely on fresh food to sustain them on long voyages.
- Cultural Reasons: In some cultures, bananas were seen as a symbol of decay and death, and it was believed that bringing them on board a ship would bring bad luck and possibly even death to the sailors.
- Fire: Fires on wooden ships have been a major problem for sailors since the beginning of time. The ethene gases that cause fruits and vegetables to ripen faster can lead to fermentation and the production of alcohol, which is highly flammable and can easily ignite a fire. Without any fire suppression systems or running water, these fires can quickly spread throughout the ship, leaving sailors with no way to put them out.