A lucky couple recently found a chunk of whale vomit that may be worth over $72,000.
Last week, Gary and Angela Williams were walking along Middleton Sands beach in Lancansire, England. When the couple smelled dead fish, they traced the odor to a "rock" about the size of a football. The odiferous "rock" turned out to be a chunk of whale vomit, also called ambergris.
Having read reports of other people selling ambergris for boatloads of money, the Williams' wrapped up their find and took it home. Gary said,
It was a bit of a shock. It was down a section of the beach where no-one really walks.
It smells too bad though. It's a very distinctive smell, like a cross between squid and farmyard manure. 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.
So why in the world is this whale vomit so valuable? Believe it or not, it is used to make perfume. Aged ambergris, which is made up of the hardened intestinal slurry of a sperm whale, has a sweet odor and is extremely rare.
Based on previous sale prices of whale vomit, the couple expects to receive just over $70,000 for their unique find.
So the next time your walking an English beach, don't walk away from that nasty smell, head towards it. It could be the smell of money.