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Foul Smelling Whale Vomit Found on Beach Worth $160,000

Foul Smelling Whale Vomit Found on Beach Worth $160,000

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First Posted: Jan 31, 2013 09:20 PM EST
Sperm whale
(Photo : Reuters)

A man walking along the beach in the U.K. came across a big, smelly rock which his dog refused to let them leave behind. The owner is now very glad he did because it turns out he could get close to $160,000 for it.

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The smelly rock turns out it could be a piece of ambergris, a substance found in the digestive systems of sperm whales. It is used in perfume-making for the musky fragrance it acquires as it ages - but newer ambergris has a horrible stench to it.

Whales sometimes spew up ambergris, which floats on water and has been highly prized for centuries.

"I didn't actually realize what it was at first, I couldn't understand why Madge was so interested in it. It smelled horrible.

"I left it, came back home and looked it up on the internet. When I saw how much it could be worth, I went back to the beach and grabbed it."

Ambergris has a peculiar smell which has been used in scents like Chanel No.5.

Chris Hill, curator at the Aquarium of the Lakes in Cumbria, said: "It's quite a find."How much it's worth will depend on how fresh it is, but it's potentially $180,000 (£114,000).

"There are places in Europe that will buy it from you. They will age it, like a fine wine, and then test it for perfume."

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