Lucky haul: Thai woman finds lump of whale vomit, worth over $250,000
- When Niamrin inspected the mass, she found that it smelled like fish. Unaware of what the mass was, she brought it back home with her. The mass could be worth over $250,000
A 49-year-old woman from Thailand, Siriporn Niamrin, found whale vomit worth almost £186,500 ($260947.07) while walking near her beach house on February 23. Niamrin found the vomit while taking a stroll along the beach after a rainstorm, washed up on the coast of Nakhon Si Thammarat province in southern Thailand.
When Niamrin inspected the mass, she found that it smelled like fish. Unaware of what the mass was, she brought it back home with her. After speaking to her neighbors, she discovered that the oval-shaped mass was whale vomit which is also called ‘ambergris’.
Niamrin’s neighbor then informed her that the smell emanating from the almost 15lb weighing mass could indicate that it’s a genuine piece of ambergris, hence, to check its authenticity, they held a naked flame to the 12 inches wide and 24 inches long mass which caused it to melt and then harden again after cooling down.
Now, Niamrin is waiting for experts to visit her house to confirm whether the ambergris is genuine or not.
According to a report in Daily Mail, Niamrin said that if the mass turns out to be genuine ambergris, she would help her community with the money she gets.
Ambergris, the treasure of the sea
Ambergris, a solid waxy substance which originates in the intestine of the sperm whale, is used for medicines and potions and as a spice in eastern cultures. In western cultures, the same substance is used to stabilize the scent of fine perfumes. Ambergris often floats and washes ashore on the coasts of China, Japan, Africa, and the Americas and on tropical islands such as the Bahamas. Fresh ambergris is black and soft and has an unpleasant odour. When it is exposed to sun, air, or seawater, this substance hardens and changes colour, fading to light gray or yellow and in this process develops a pleasant fragrance.