Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

'Whale Vomit' like Gold; Rumour of Ambergis Discovery

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

'Whale Vomit' like Gold; Rumour of Ambergis Discovery

Article excerpt

Byline: Karin von Behrens news@northernstar.com.au

A NORTHERN Rivers man is rumoured to have found a lump of ambergis on a beach which has the potential be highly valuable.

Ambergis, otherwise known as whale vomit, is a rare commodity and valued because of its use as a bonding agent in perfurmes.

In 2016 a couple in the UK found a 1.57 kg lump of ambergris which was estimated to be worth up to US$70,000 (A$100,000) at the time.

The Hindustani Times reported in November last year that three Omani fishermen hit the jackpot after scooping from the ocean 80kg of "whale vomit", expected to net them US$2.5 million.

Whether it is actually whale vomit, or something which lodges itself in the intestines of the sperm whale before being expelled out the other end of the creature, is disputed as much as its legality.

One thing all sources do seem to agree on is that the product is a compressed bolus of squid beaks and other organic matter which, after being expelled from the whale and floating around in the ocean for a while, forms a mass which is highly prized for its use in the perfume industry; presumably not for its scent - which is variously described as earthy, musk-like and poo - but for its use as a fixative. …

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