Who knew that ambergris, or hardened sperm whale vomit, was worth so much money? A young British boy named Charles Naysmith found what he thought was an unusual walk earlier this week in Christchurch. Well, that unusual rock turned out to be a piece of ambergris worth as much as $60,000.
According to CBS, ambergris is “formed in the intestinal tract of sperm whales” and is often used for perfumes.
Mandy Aftel, a perfumer in Berkeley, California, told Business Week earlier this year:
“It’s beyond comprehension how beautiful it is…. It’s transformative. There’s a shimmering quality to it. It reflects light with its smell. It’s like an olfactory gemstone.”
Naysmith’s chunk of whale vomit weighed about 600 grams and could fetch about $60,000 if he decides to sell it. The boy’s father, Alex, said that they haven’t decided what to do with it yet.
Alex said: “He is into nature and is really interested in it. We have discovered it is quite rare and are waiting for some more information from marine biology experts.”
But don’t expect any sort of ambergris gold rush in Christchurch. Sea experts say that the piece of whale vomit that Naysmith found was likely floating in the ocean for decades before it washed ashore.