London, Feb 1 (TruthDive): A British man’s dog has found on a beach a rare form of ‘horrible smelling’ lump of sperm whale vomit used in perfumes, which could be worth up to £100,000, media reported on Thursday.
Ken Wilman, 50, was walking with his dog on Morecambe beach, Lancashire in England when his dog Madge started sniffing a lump of rock. First, Ken thought it was a football but when he had a closer look he realised it was a big stone.
Ken realised its value only after an online search, which revealed it was ambergris, the substance, which is found in the digestive system of sperm whales, is valuable and used in perfume.
Madge was so interested in the horrible smelling stone, Ken said. He first left the stone in the beach, came back home and looked on the internet. When he knew it could be of more worth, Ken again went back to the beach and grabbed it.
Ambergris is a natural excrement believed to be used by the whale as a digestion aid and is expelled from its abdomen often while hundreds of miles away from land.
The spewed up ambergris, which is usually seen floating on water, has been highly prized for centuries. It can float for years undiscovered, gradually hardening and its distinctive odour develops, and then such big masses are usually washed up on beaches in small, fist or football-sized lumps. It acquires a musky fragrance as the substance ages, but newer ambergris is foul-smelling.
It is an ingredient that is in demand for use by the fragrance industry. High-end perfumes are reported to use ambergris as an ingredient.
A French dealer has offered Ken 50,000 euros (43,000) if the 3kg lump turns out to be sperm whale vomit, or ambergris, because it is such a vital perfume ingredient. But, Ken has sent a small amount of the vomit to France and he is waiting for tests to confirm whether his find is truly ambergis.
Reports say, experts believe it could be worth much more once it has been officially verified. Previously, in 2006 an Australian couple found a larger lump of ambergris, about 32-pound chunk, which netted $295,000 when selling the product. But, the lump Wilman has found is smaller and not likely to bring as much money as the Australian couple did.