A couple strolling on a beach in Lancashire, in the UK, came across a weird-looking smelly ‘rock’ which proved to be a rare lump of whale vomit also known as ‘floating gold.’
The couple estimates that the 3.46 lb chunk of whale waste could worth a fortune. They are now in talks with experts and hope to monetize it for $70,000. Lumps of ‘whale vomit’ or ambergris are highly praised by the perfume industry.
Gary and Angela Williams said that they found the foul-smelling ‘rock’ in an isolated site on Middleton Sands beach. They noticed that something smelled like rotten fish, so they followed the stench.
Fortunately, the couple was aware of the value of their new discovery the moment they set their eyes on it. So, they wrapped it and took it home, where they weighed it and found it weighed 3.46 pounds.
A previous lump of ambergris, which was nearly double the size of this one, was found in 2013 and auctioned for $170,000.
The material is also known as ‘floating gold’ because it can spend years floating in the ocean before it washes ashore.
Plus, the whale waste costs so much because it takes years to form in sperm whales’ bellies. The ambergris is said to shield the animals from sharp objects they may accidentally ingest. The intestinal slurry is eventually ejected by the animal into the ocean where it hardens.
Exposure to sunlight and salt water turns the soft material into a grey lump resembling a piece of smooth rock. Mr. Williams said that he and his wife found the precious object in a beach section rarely visited by beach-goers.
He added that it had a foul smell, a “cross between squid and farmyard manure.” He said the lump’s texture was very similar to beeswax, so he got a wax-like material sticking on his hands whenever he touched it.
The 48-year-old man said that the piece of whale vomit could worth a lot of cash. The couple plans to fulfill their lifelong dream of purchasing a static caravan. The duo said that they have the habit of scouring the beach for rare items.
They found the 3.46lb ambergris on Sunday. They said that they are now negotiating with experts from France and New Zealand. The 2013 lump which weighed 5.95 pounds was estimated at $170,000. The British couple hopes to sell the newly-found piece for at least $70,000, or £50,000.
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