Ok, this has nothing to do with the law or politics, but I cannot resist. Brit Ken Wilman, 50, is a wealthy man after his dog Madge starting playing with a smelly rock on the beach. It turned out to be a rare piece of whale vomit. However, that is not the interesting thing about the story. What is interesting is that the whale vomit is worth more than £100,000.
I had no idea that whale vomit is used in the making of perfume. It is called ambergris and starts with a marine fecal smell that evolves into a sweeter smell over time. For some reason, perfume makers love the stuff from the digestive system of whales.
This material is excreted through a whale’s mouth. A bidding war has started over Wilman’s whale vomit. It appears that England is the place to find such nuggets judging from an earlier find.
It is illegal to use ambergris in the United States because of the sperm whale’s endangered status. However, it can still garner a huge price in France, Switzerland, and other countries.
So, if you come across a smelly rock on the beach, you might not want to throw it back. It may be your puked ticket to paradise.
17 thoughts on “Wilman’s Whale: English Man Hit Jackpot With Hardened Whale Vomit”
what should i do if i have a kilo of something that looks exactly like this
How incredibly cetaceaphobic! I bet you don’t call honey “bee vomit.”
Ambergris does indeed smell delightful…I miss the actual scent in perfumes. I am told it washes up on Mideastern beaches with regularity and that it is used to perfume and flavor tea.
I admit, I am baffled about it being illegal, tho’ I’ve long known that it is here; killing a sperm whale doesn’t make it vomit and that is not why they were/are hunted.
I can just see the commercials…
“For every man who goes to sea, a woman waits for his return; walking the beach, finding reminders of their love.”
Jonah by Fabergé
a shit load.
Nick, I think that is an open-ended question … but I bet Moby Dick vomit would net a fortune.
Maybe that is what Ahab was after?
How much does whale shit bring on the open market?
If he is a Brit then he ought to go over to New South Wales.
We have had whales puking on this beach for years! The dolphines who work for the NSA told us about this but we thought they were nuts. The NSA guy who brought us the Dogologue Machine and who talks to the dolphines has been out there working the beach for a year. Little did we know. Keep this under your hats dogs.
Yikes! I think I will head to the nearest beach and start smelling the rocks!
The things we value and the things we don’t …
“The easiest way to recognize ambergris is by smell. Fresh ambergris, straight out of the whale, has an odor that’s often likened to “scented cow dung.” But after floating in the salty ocean for decades or more, it can take on a very different odor, described as reminiscent of tobacco, Brazil nuts, a fern copse, or the wood in old churches. “The problem with trying to describe the smell of ambergris,” says Kemp, “is that it really only smells like ambergris.” When used in perfumes, it’s rarely the dominant scent. Rather, it acts as a fixative and fragrance amplifier. Douglas Stewart, a chemist at Salt Lake City’s Scentsual Antiquities, which supplies ambergris to perfumers, says it “alters the quality of the existing notes and makes them bigger, deeper and more expansive than they can ever be on their own.””
“In Moby-Dick, Herman Melville claimed that ambergris, “an essence found in the inglorious bowels of a sick whale,” was “largely used in perfumery, in pastiles, precious candles, hair powders, and pomatum.” More recently, it has appeared in overpriced delicacies, such as the $4,700 mince pie created last month for charity by U.K. food designer Andrew Stellitano, and even more overpriced perfumes. In 2005, a 200-year-old fragrance originally made for Marie Antoinette, which featured ambergris as a main ingredient, was reproduced in limited quantities for $11,000 a bottle.”
I learned of ambergris in a high school class, and reference to it in novels.
However I have been wrong in my knowledge for forty years.
I have associated ambergris with whale sperm this entire time.
I will now associate sperm whales with ambergris. LOL.
… Ya learn sumthin new every day !!! Thank you Professor
Just wait til you find out the ingredients of lipstick includes….. Little love goes a long way…
A smelly rock, washed up on the beach???? Whale Vomit, a great name for our current crop of Conservatives, in the Congress.
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