In a lucky break, Siriporn Niamrin, a 49-year-old woman from Thailand found a whale vomit that is worth £190,000 or Rs. 1.9 crore as she was talking a stroll along the beach. The whale vomit was washed up on the coast of the Nakhon Si Thammarat region that is in Southern Thailand.
Upon inspecting the mass, she identified the smell of mass to be that of a fish. Unsure of what the mass was, Siriporn chose to bring the mass back home instead of letting it rot on the beach. After she spoke to neighbours and persons from her community, she realized that the lump of mass was a whale vomit, also known as ambergris. The woman’s neighbours told her that the smell oozing from the 7.5 kg mass could very well mean that it was a genuine piece of ambergris.
To identify whether the mass she found accidentally is a piece of ambergris or not, Siriporn melted the 12 inches wide and 24 inches long lump of mass. The mass solidified again after cooling down which reaffirmed Niamrin’s claim of striking fortune. Based on the previous sale prices, the 7.5 kg of mass has an approximate value of £190,000 or Rs. 1.9 crore. Currently, Niamrin is waiting for experts to pay her a visit and take her one step closer to her fortune.
According to Daily Mail, the 49-year-old woman claimed that if the mass turns out to be authentic ambergris, she would use the earnings she gets to help her community.
Why is whale vomit or ambergris so expensive?
Ambergris is a mass of lump with a waxy texture and smells like fish. One of the main reasons why it is so expensive is that it is used as an ingredient in special medicines, potions and even as spices in the Eastern part of the globe. Whereas, in Western countries, the substance is used to stabilize the strong scent of fine perfumes.
The substance, which originates from the intestine of the sperm whale, is often found washed up on the shores of coastal countries like China, Japan, Bahamas, etc. Ambergris’s original color is black and has a stinky odour. But when it is exposed to sun and air, the substance changes its colour, fading to yellow, and develops a sweet fragrance.
Also known as ‘floating gold’ and ‘treasure of sea’, the substance is originated in the intestine of sperm whales. Sperm whales primarily prey on squids who sharp beads. These sperm whales produce ambergris when the gastrointestinal tract wants to easily release the sharp object the whale consumed. Since the sperm whales can’t digest the beaks of these squids and it needs to be passed as well, the whales coat the beaks with ambrein. In a nutshell, ambergris is a lump that is produced by sperm whales when it produces ambergris which acts as a glue that makes the passing of the consumed prey a little easier.