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Thursday, 15 January 2009

Cold enough to freeze the balls off a Brass Monkey

That's exactly how cold it is here today.
Here is a live feed from a beach on the east coast of Bonaire ... I'm imagining myself there right this moment.

Did you know?

Back in the day when war ships were made out of wood, cannon balls were kept stacked on deck ready to be loaded into the cannon. They were stored inside a square base and stacked pyramid style with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. This method could keep a supply of thirty cannon balls confined in a small area right next to the cannon. In order to prevent the balls from sliding/rolling from under the others -- the solution was a metal plate called a, "Monkey," with sixteen round indentations. If this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would rust to it.

The solution to the rusting problem was to make, "Brass Monkeys." And because brass contracts much faster than iron when chilled, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the cannon balls would pop off the monkey.

So there you have it! It was literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!" Hehehe, and what were you thinking?

{ Hope your all keeping nice and warm inside today! }

(photo courtesy of Dave Walsh via Blather)

9 comments:

LarryG said...

a succinct explanatory to a mysterious enigma :)
suffice it to say I will take no chance with monkey business and my personal "iron balls" lol

Madeleine said...

Jack, you had me laughing and Larry you to :o)))

Kathy said...

Who KNEW?! Thanks! :)

only a movie said...

It's freaking cold here too. Keep warm.

Amber said...

ROTFL
Oh my, what a great bunch you are. That gave me the giggles and you know I'm gonna picture it each time I go out into he cold now and grin to make my family think I'm crazy...

Jack said...

Oh my! Larry you are a riot!

Would the cold even cause such shrinkage to said balls? hmmmm...
(Oh Stop it you guys!) hehe

I've found a link that disagrees with this explanation,
link

Shadow said...

well well well, learn something new every day. thank you!

dh said...

I guess now that's one less thing I don't know. I appreciate that.

thistle said...

I've heard the origin of the phrase before and as soon as i saw your title my mind was doing flip flops trying to remember what the story was again...

Thanks for sharing!