It may seem strange but this couple was very lucky to have discovered this large smelly rock on a beach. You could even say they hit the jackpot.
But such a big fuss over a huge rock that smells like a dead fish?
That’s because this strange looking ‘rock’ is actually a lump of whale vomit – that could be worth over £50,000 (P3,242,210)!
Gary and Angela Williams, from Overton, Lancashire, were strolling along Middleton Sands Beach near Morecambe Bay when they smelled something foul in the air.
The couple followed the smell until they discovered this strange-looking ‘rock.’ They soon realized that this lump was actually a piece of ambergris - or 'whale vomit.'
Ambergris is a highly-prized substance used in, of all things, perfume-making!
The couple had previously read about ambergris in the newspaper and was excited about this find. They wrapped the foul-smelling chunk of vomit in a scarf and took it home with them.
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Gary, an engineer, and his wife were admittedly very shocked at this discovery:
"It was down a section of the beach where no-one really walks," he said.
"It smells too bad though. It's a very distinctive smell, like a cross between squid and farmyard manure. It feels like a rock hard rubber ball. Its texture is like wax, like a candle. When you touch it you get wax sticking to your fingers."
He added: "If it is worth a lot of money, it will go a long way towards buying us a static caravan. It would be a dream come true."
Ambergris has been called ‘floating gold’ due to its rareness and high market value to perfume makers. It’s the hardened, waxy and flammable substance produced in the digestive system of sperm whales.
These prized stinky lumps can float in the vast ocean for years before washing ashore.
The couple’s own ambergris lump weighs 1.57kg and is slightly smaller than a rugby ball. Ambergris of this size could potentially sell at £50,000.
In 2013, ambergris weighing at 2.7kg was discovered at Morecambe, England and was valued at £120,000! Another which weighed 1.1 kg one was found at Anglesey, Wales and was purchased for £11,000 at an auction.
The couple are now currently in negotiations with potential buyers. They have also sought out expert opinion over their discovery.
Who knew that vomit could be so valuable? What a lucky pair!
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