Man Gets Stinking Rich From Stinking, Awful Whale Poop
It is hard enough to fathom, much less accept as truth, that some of the most expensive and luxurious fragrances in the world are produced using giant wads of sea dung, but it’s true. Whale excrement, meaning the stuff squeezed out through the digestive tract of the sperm whale, is apparently commonly used as a perfume ingredient. So what we’re saying is, the scent of the goddesses are born of the but bombs of Moby Dick and his flatulent whale cousins. Irony has never been more clearly defined. Incidentally, these yellowish-gray stink bombs are extremely valuable and can be worth upwards of tens of thousands of dollars per pound.
Recently, a man walking his dog on the beach near Morecambe, England found this out for himself. Ken Wilman and his dog Madge were not initially impressed when they first encountered the strange rock with a distinct, foul odor; however, upon researching the find and discovering that it was a rare piece of ambergris, Wilman was quick to welcome the golden-sea-dropping into his home.
“When I saw how much it could be worth, I went back to the beach and grabbed it!” said Wilman.
According to reports, some dealers have already offered Wilman as much as $68,000 for his aquatic dingle berry, but experts say it is worth much more – depending on how fresh it is it could bring as much as $180,000.
Ambergris, which is sort of an intestinal anomaly of the sperm whale (and yes, this whale gets its name from the semen like substance found in its head) is a hot commodity because experts say that it is produced by only about 1% of the sperm whale population. While some people involved in the buying and selling of whale excrement stand by the notion that they deal in “whale vomit,” scientists say that it is more accurately “whale poop.”
Vomit or poop, this counterculture of treasure seekers gives a whole new meaning to the term stinking rich.