A 35-man fishing crew working off Yemen netted the find of a lifetime when they hauled in about 1.23 Million Euro worth of whale vomit. YES, Whale Vomit!
Also known as ambergris. whale vomit is an odorous substance found only in the digestive systems of sperm whales. According to the UK's Natural History Museum, the substance is often called the "treasure of the sea" and "floating gold" because of how rare it is.
Ambergris is particularly valuable for its use making perfumes' scents last longer. According to National Geographic, Chanel and Lanvin use ambergris in some of their high-end scents - how many of the high rollers know of this?
The fishing boat just happened to haul up a sperm whale's carcass while fishing in the Gulf of Aden, per a report in The India Times. While they were towing it back to shore, the crew got a whiff of a rancid smell and considered that there might be ambergris in the whale's stomach.
They took the whale apart and found a 127Kg/280-pound lump of ambergris in its belly.
Scientists believe that ambergris is produced because of the huge volume of cephalopods (including squid and octopus) that sperm whales consume. The whales are unable to digest the sharp beaks of these cephalopods, this mixes with other stomach and intestinal fluids to form the waxy prize.
This is not the first time ambergris has been netted by unwitting fishermen. In November, the Thai fisherman Narit Suwansang found a 220-pound mass of ambergris while trawling the coastline near the Gulf of Thailand.