Menu
News

Rare, valuable whale vomit found on North Coast beach

ABOVE: What comes out of a whale, ambergris (pictured) is a highly valuable commodity.
ABOVE: What comes out of a whale, ambergris (pictured) is a highly valuable commodity.

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

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

In 2016 a couple in the UK found a 1.57kg 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.

The good news for the lucky person who may have stumbled across this pungent "gold mine" on the beach is "it is not illegal to possess or sell ambergris within New South Wales", according to a spokesman for the Office of Environment and Heritage.

"If the ambergris was given to the National Parks and Wildlife Service it would be used for educational purposes," they said.

"Regulations can differ in other states and territories and people are advised to check the rules regarding ambergris in those jurisdictions."

So next time you are out on a beach, keep your eyes peeled, as that next lump you stumble across could put enough money in the bank for a house deposit.

Topics:  ambergris beach whale



Maclean High School HSC BBQ

Mitchell Johns, Eryn Hammond, Georgie Dobbini, Mikayla Ferguson and Chantelle McMaster at the Maclean High School Year 12 morning tea.

Year 12 students from Maclean High School shared ATAR results and bid farewell to...

Grafton High HSC BBQ

Grafton High Year 12 HSC results BBQ

Grafton High Year 12 students share results with one another at the HSC BBQ.

BEHIND THE SPORTS DESK: The Root of England respect issue

England's Joe Root walks off at the end of their Ashes cricket test match in Adelaide, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. Australia won by 120 runs.

Moose and Pottsy disect the pressing issues in sport.

Local Partners