Ambergris: A hidden treasure

Ambergris: A hidden treasure

UK eight-year-old stumbles upon up to $60k worth of sperm whale vomit

In today’s hard economy, one needs to do whatever they can to make a buck and survive.  Usually this means getting a job and humping into work every day like every other shmoe.  Other times, however, this means getting lucky and striking it rich.  And if you can’t win the lottery, there’s something that’s almost as good - finding a nice pile of dried-up sperm whale vomit.

One eight-year-old kid in the U.K. did just that, though quite by accident.  He happened upon some sperm whale vomit lying on the beach and, thinking it was just an interesting and unique rock, took it home with him.  Mom and dad wanted to find out what kind of rock it was so they checked out the Internet only to discover that it was sperm whale vomit, also known as ambergris.

Ambergris can run up to $100 a gram and the rock that the youth found weighed in at a healthy 600 grams.  Estimates put the value of the hardened puke at somewhere between $15,000 and $60,000.  That’s no small chunk of change for something that seems like it should be worthless.

As it turns out, ambergris is incredibly useful in the perfume industry.  It’s rare as all heck and used by top perfume manufacturers to make their products better by extending the life of the scent and adding a unique animal musk that can be found nowhere else.  Currently, the lad who found it is waiting for mom and dad to do some research about how to get the thing sold for maximum profit. 

So what is an eight-year-old going to do with a potential 60 grand?  He has expressed his wish to use the money to help animals.  He has a school club that is focused on sheltering animals and wants to expand it to do more.  I have to say, the boy shows some true nobility - taking a gift from nature to further benefit nature. 

So there you have it folks.  If you need some extra cash, go trawling the beach for sperm whale vomit.  Of course, don’t expect to find any.  It’s incredibly rare and often floats about in the sea for decades before finally making landfall.  And if you do manage to find some, do something nice with it instead of just buying yourself a new car.