U.S. Code, Title 48, Chapter 8, Sections 1411–1419

"Whenever any citizen of the United States discovers a deposit of guano on any island, rock, or key, not within the lawful jurisdiction of any other Government, and not occupied by the citizens of any other Government, and takes peaceable possession thereof, and occupies the same, such island, rock, or key may, at the discretion of the President, be considered as appertaining to the United States."

That's from the Guano Island Act, passed by Congress in 1848. Link.

I'm doing some research on soil phosphorus for my soil science class's final project.


I'm using this excellent book which directed me to this fine webpage which led me to this fascinating story about bat guano which prompted a FindLaw search.

You just couldn't assemble information at that rate before the 21st century.


JvA said...

The word "guano" comes to us from Quechua, the official language of the Incan kings of Cusco.

mmw said...


JvA said...

Chuck, were you part of Bay to Breakers? Looks fun:


Well, not if you don't like crowds, I guess.

Anonymous said...

So glad I found your blog!I have really enjoyed looking at the pictures this morning as they bring back memories of my days in San Fran! Greetings from Columbia, SC.

chuck b. said...

Thanks for coming by anonymous.

J, I ran B2B twice in the 1980s...in the early 1980s. I realized the second time that it was a lot like running it the first time, and, I imagined, a lot like it would be running it more times.

Fun, but I could be at home drinking coffee, gardening, shopping online, watching TV, etc.

Dharma said...

I have that same book! And now I also have a little trove of phosphorus info(this post and one above) - thanks!

anile said...

Did you happen to see this?
These people should sell that stuff! They could make a fortune!

me again said...


last time i promise said...