You never know what you're going to find on the beach. If you're lucky it's a perfect conch shell. Not so lucky, and you end up with a dirty syringe. But the kid who found a huge chunk of whale vomit may just take the "craziest beach find ever" prize.
And it could get crazier. There are estimates out there that this rock hard whale puke could bring in thousands of clams. Some are even saying little Charlie Naysmith could bring in something in the $60,000 range. How's that for a whale of a tale (sorry, I just had to ...)?
Actually, this whole thing is not that crazy, at least to people who are in the know about whale vomit. The stuff that a sperm whale regurgitates has an actual name and an actual use in regular every day society. In fact, you might even be wearing some whale vomit right now.
Yup, whale puke is also called ambergris, which is used to make ... wait for it ... perfume. Ah, did that make YOU want to puke? I'm just getting started! Apparently the "vomit" actually comes out of the sperm whale's back end.
And you just spritzed it all over yourself, didn't you? Cheers!
Aww, come on, it's not that bad. At least this puts the whole "paying thousands of dollars for a mammal's vomit" thing into perspective, doesn't it? If people were just willing to put up a big chunk of change for some whale vomit because it's whale vomit, I would be forced to ask if the whole collector's hobby had seriously jumped the shark (or the whale?).
At least now we know that those expensive bottles of sweet scents we love to buy depend on a whale's digestive tract to get made.
Actually, you know what? I don't feel any better. I think I'd rather just go back to finding conch shells and seaglass. How about you?
What do you make of the whale vomit find? Are you hitting the beach this Labor Day weekend eager to pick some up yourself?
Image via kohane/Flickr