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Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:47 PM

 

Dog walker finds smelly lump of whale vomit on beach that's worth £100,000



A dog walker who spotted a smelly yellow rock on a beach says discovering it was whale vomit was like finding a “bag of cash”.

Ken Wilman said his boxer dog Madge found the 6lb lump, which could be worth £100,000, in Morecambe, Lancashire.

Ken only realised its potential value after an online search revealed the substance was ambergris, an ingredient used in the manufacture of perfume.

A French dealer has offered £43,000 but experts say the lump of hardened intestinal slurry from a sperm whale could be worth twice as much.

More: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dog-walker-finds-lump-of-whale-1564302

23 replies, 1687 views

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Reply Dog walker finds smelly lump of whale vomit on beach that's worth £100,000 (Original post)
UnrepentantLiberal Feb 2013 OP
tridim Feb 2013 #1
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Feb 2013 #2
Recursion Feb 2013 #9
rocktivity Feb 2013 #3
cbayer Feb 2013 #4
Recursion Feb 2013 #10
cbayer Feb 2013 #19
DollarBillHines Feb 2013 #23
enlightenment Feb 2013 #5
Hekate Feb 2013 #6
ProdigalJunkMail Feb 2013 #12
Hekate Feb 2013 #16
ProdigalJunkMail Feb 2013 #17
ellisonz Feb 2013 #7
Hassin Bin Sober Feb 2013 #8
ellisonz Feb 2013 #13
UnrepentantLiberal Feb 2013 #15
Cirque du So-What Feb 2013 #11
CAG Feb 2013 #14
RedCappedBandit Feb 2013 #18
dlwickham Feb 2013 #20
TeamPooka Feb 2013 #21
southernyankeebelle Feb 2013 #22

Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:48 PM

1. Precious hamburgers?

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:49 PM

2. They used to hunt sperm whales specifically for this.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:01 PM

9. Get a big enough chunk and they would head home, even with barrels half empty

I think that comes up in Moby-Dick at one point, too.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:51 PM

3. 100,000 British pounds?

That's $157,000 in actual money!


rocktivity

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:52 PM

4. There is whale vomit in perfumes??

Who knew!

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Response to cbayer (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:01 PM

10. The outside smells awful; cut it open

and it's ridiculously sweet. The only analogy I can think of is the durian fruit, if you've ever had that.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:17 PM

19. Had to look that up. From wiki:

The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as almonds, rotten onions, turpentine, raw sewage, and gym socks.


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Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:30 PM

23. I've eaten durian and it was wonderful. nt

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:52 PM

5. I'm jealous.

30 years ago I bought a 1/2 ounce of refined ambergris oil (the real thing, not the synthetic). The scent was exquisite and fortunately a little went a long way - because it cost me $100.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:53 PM

6. Ambergris

I only know it from a poem (was that Ezra Pound? or TS Eliot?) I read back in college...

Lucky man.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:03 PM

12. this?

Praise is like ambergris;
a little whiff of it, by snatches, is very agreeable;
but when a man holds a whole lump of it to his nose;
it is a stink and strikes you down.

— Alexander Pope c.1720

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Response to ProdigalJunkMail (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:11 PM

16. I don't think I read it in Pope, but I am sure that Pound and Eliot did!

Thanks!

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Response to Hekate (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:14 PM

17. I had to dig deep for that one...

and I am sad to say memory failed and I had to go look it up. My age is showing.

sP

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:58 PM

7. Lucky man and dog !

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:00 PM

8. Unlucky whale. Musta been the fish.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:05 PM

13. The staple diet of Sperm whales is squid.

Feeding

Sperm whales usually dive between 300 to 800 metres (980 to 2,600 ft), and sometimes 1–2 kilometres (3,300–6,600 ft) to search for food. Such dives can last more than an hour. They feed on several species, notably the giant squid, the colossal squid, octopuses, and diverse fish like demersal rays, but the main part of their diet consists of medium-sized squid. Some prey may be taken incidentally while eating other items. Most of what is known about deep sea squid has been learned from specimens in captured sperm whale stomachs, although more recent studies analysed fecal matter. One study, carried out around the Galápagos, found that squid from the genera Histioteuthis (62%), Ancistrocheirus (16%), and Octopoteuthis (7%) weighing between 12 and 650 grams (0.026 and 1.4 lb) were the most commonly taken. Battles between sperm whales and colossal squid (which have been measured to weigh nearly 500 kilograms (1,100 lb)) have never been observed by humans; however white scars are believed to be caused by the large squid. One study published in 2010 collected evidence that suggests that female sperm whales may collaborate when hunting Humboldt squid. Tagging studies have shown that sperm whales hunt upside down at the bottom of their deep dives. It is suggested that the whales can see the squid silhouetted above them against the dim surface light.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:10 PM

15. Ten facts about ambergris

 

1. Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish colour produced in the intestines of sperm whales

2. It's produced by the whale to protect its gut from the very sharp beaks of squid that it feeds on deep down in the ocean

3. Although called 'whale vomit', it is probably pooped rather than vomited

4. It is excreted hundreds of miles away from land

5. It can float on the ocean for years before washing ashore

6. Years of exposure to the sun and salt water transform the waste into a smooth, grey, lump of compact rock which has a waxy feel to it

7. Freshly produced ambergris has a marine, fecal odor and as it ages, it acquires a sweet, earthy scent

8. It got its name because it looks like the amber washed up on beaches in the Baltic. Gris comes from the Latin word for grey

9. It is used in the production of perfume and as a result is extremely valuable

10. Scientists refer to ambergris as "floating gold" because of this

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:02 PM

11. Eggs and ambergris

is reported to be the favorite dish of English king Charles II.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:09 PM

14. The dog walker found Rush Limbaugh where??

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:14 PM

18. I knew perfume was gross

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:32 PM

20. hardened intestinal slurry

that just sounds all kinds of nasty

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:38 PM

21. Just told my dog she's slacking off compared to Madge.... nt

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:50 PM

22. Gee, I wish would all could make money on the shit we get from congress. Just saying

 

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