A woman in Thailand couldn’t believe her luck after stumbling across almost $230,000-worth of whale vomit near her beach house.
Siriporn Niamrin, 49, had been walking along the beach after a rainstorm when she noticed a large mass washed up on the shore in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Thailand.
Upon closer inspection, she noticed the substance smelled like fish, so she dragged the mass away from the beach – believing her find could be worth some money.
After asking her neighbors for some help with the oval-shaped find, Siriporn was shocked to be told the substance was whale vomit, known as ambergris.
‘I feel lucky to have found such a large piece. I hope it will bring me money. I’m keeping it safe in my house and I have asked the local council to visit to check it.’
Ambergris is produced by sperm whales when bile ducts in the gastrointestinal tract make secretions to ease the passage of large or sharp objects. The whale then vomits the mucilage which solidifies and floats on the surface of the ocean.
The solid chunk has a foul smell at first but after the mucilage dries out, it develops a sweet and long-lasting fragrance, which makes it a sought-after ingredient in the perfume industry.
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