A precocious young British boy has stumbled upon a chunk of congealed whale vomit that could be worth as much as $63,000. Charlie Naysmith, 8, was walking with his parents along the beach at Hengistbury Head, on the south coast of England, when he got interested in a curious-looking rock. Ambergris, a waxy excretion formed in the intestines of sperm whales, has traditionally been used in perfumes as a fixative, though it has been gradually replaced by synthetics. In Moby Dick, Melville writes of the irony that "fine ladies and gentlemen should regale themselves with an essence found in the inglorious bowels of a sick whale.” Known as "floating gold," possession of the stuff is banned in several countries, including the U.S., to prevent the poaching of sperm whales. As for the boy, he’s now trying to decide what to do with the windfall and has indicated he might like to build a house for animals.
Via Daily Echo
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.