A beach scavenger from Thailand found a massive lump of whale vomit, which is worth around $715481, while he was searching for recyclable waste.
Surachet Chanchu, a beach scavenger, was walking along the sand in Songkhla, southern Thailand, on December 11, 2019, when he saw the massive lump lying on the beach.
Immediately, the man realized he found a huge block of ambergris, a valuable substance formed in the digestive tracts of whales.
Ambergris is also a sought-after ingredient in the perfume industry.
Surachet took the whale vomit and brought it to his home, where he performed a quick test to make sure it was indeed whale vomit.
Surachet said he brought out a lighter, lit up the substance, and waited for an unpleasant smell to come out.
The smell did come out, and Surachet realized he was right.
A good type of whale vomit is worth around $17,000 per pound, and if the whale vomit that Surachet found is worth $17,000 per pound, he is on his way to get over $715,000.
Surachet said, “I saw the chunk washed ashore at the coastal rock when I was scavenging. I thought it looked like a whale vomit but I need someone who knows about it to come down and check but I do not know who should I contact as well.”
Experts say lumps of whale vomit float in the ocean for over 100 years after they are formed in the bile duct of the sperm whale.
The liquid solidifies in the ocean and matures over for many years.
Ambergris has a sweet, lingering fragrance, which is somehow wet. Fresh ambergris emits a strong unpleasant fecal odor that is similar to horse or cow dung.