Couple finds valuable whale vomit on beach, set to make £50,000
Gary and Angela Williams are hoping they can repeat the success of the last whale vomit sale, when a buyer coughed up £120,000 (US$170,000).
Ambergris is a highly-sought-after perfume ingredient, despite its natural stench, described by Gary Williams in the Mirror as “a cross between squid and farmyard manure.”
How often do people take home what they think is valuable whale vomit, but it turns out to just be some disgusting stuff they found seaside?— Austin Ramzy (@austinramzy) April 13, 2016
“It feels like a rock-hard rubber ball. Its texture is like wax, like a candle. When you touch it, you get wax sticking to your fingers,” he added.
Weighing 1.57kg (3.4lbs), the lump isn’t a by-product of a massive all-nighter under the sea, but rather the indigestible leftovers of squid that got trapped in a sperm whale's intestines and eventually comes out “saturated with feces,” explains Christopher Kemp, author of ‘Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris’.
Couple stunned after stumbling across chunk of WHALE VOMIT on beach - and it could be worth £50,000 pic.twitter.com/SF2Jb7T8UT— Ｈｅａｔｈｅｒ (@itsrealH) April 13, 2016
More than half the size of the ambergris found in nearby Morecambe three years ago and sold for £120,000, the Williams are currently in talks with potential buyers in both France and New Zealand and stand to sell their lump for around £50,000.
Why is it called whale vomit and not Moby sick? https://t.co/H0TJPrjpqS— Dubious Genius (@dubiousgenius) April 13, 2016
While human vomit lines the streets of several UK towns every weekend, only 1 percent of the world’s 350,000 sperm whales part with their pricey ‘pearls’.