By Kate Holland

I have recently learned of the number one boating rule – bananas are not under any circumstances allowed on boats, not even scientific ones! I guess no one is ever exempt from the law…

Could it be due to their ability to stop the fish from biting once their oils are on your hands? It is their ability to harbour tarantulas, snakes or other tropical nasties? Or is it simply the age old problem of slipping on the banana peel?

No! Just No.
No! Just No.

Bananas are ominous, that’s for sure. If a ship carrying bananas happens to sink, the bananas (amongst other items) will float and leave the tell-tale sign of misfortune. This superstition dates way back to the 1700s, when ships carrying precious banana cargo from the Caribbean would have to speed across the seas to deliver the bananas in time. This was to prevent the bananas, and other fruits bananas influence with their ethylene gas by-products, from spoiling! On these journeys the crew wouldn’t catch any fish, due to their break neck speed through the seas.

Another unlucky down side to the banana is once fermented the methane gas has potential to cause some problems for the crew. And so for all the reasons above, bananas are deemed the most unlucky of all the cargo, and banned on boating vehicles. FYI, other things you probably also shouldn’t do include: killing albatross, whistling, being named Jonah, bring a suitcase, be on a boat on Friday and definitely avoid those sirens (beautiful women).

A handy sticker to tell "landlubbers' the rules.
A handy sticker to tell “landlubbers’ the rules.

The sea can be treacherous, but as long as you abide by the sea rules fish and science are attainable!