A few days ago, a British couple was having a walk along the Middleton Sands beach at Morecambe Bay. Suddenly, they smell something really off, like a dead fish rotten smell. Following the trail of the bad odour, they located the source, a 1.57kg strange rock. It wasn’t just an ordinary rock either, it had a really weird texture but most importantly, it stinks!
So they took this rock to an expert to find out what it was, which was later proven to be a very rare substance from a large mammal, known as the grey amber or ambergris. Okay…in human terms, it basically means whale’s vomit. What the couple didn’t realize though was how much this vomit was worth if it was put into the perfume market for sale.
Yes, it has an estimated worth of £50,000 pounds, approx US$70,000. This calculation is based on the same discovery on the same beach (yes, you read that right) back in 2013 when a dog walker discovered this ambergris material, which after analysis, was worth a staggering £100,000.
Why worth so much money?
This is a question that I was dying to find out also. First, we must understand that an ambergris comes from the digestive system of a sperm whale. This to me already sounds very rare…I mean, how often do you actually see a sperm whale and now you want to find their vomit? You get the point, but apparently this is not where it’s true value comes from.
You see, an ambergris has a very unique smell. In fact, it has a really bad rotten smell at first, but as it ages, it’s scent will somehow change from bad to a sweet scent, similar to the fragrance in perfumes. And because this distinctive but nice odour can last a very long time, fragrance companies are willing to pay top dollars to source this rare substance for their ambergris perfume production.
So there you have it people, the next time you go to the beach and noticed a strange smell, make sure you track it down because you never know…it could mean a big pile of cash like what this British couple experienced here. I know I certainly will be keeping an eye out for these rare stones from now on, even if I have a block nose.
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