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Icky find could bring man a small fortune

england perfumes french dealer $50000

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#1 Hum

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 13:48

Just because something's gross doesn't mean it isn't valuable. Case in point: Whale vomit. A man taking his dog for a walk on the beach came across a pile of (maybe! hopefully!) whale regurgitation. Now he could stand to make more than $50,000 from the find.

Who would pay tens of thousands of dollars for whale excrement? The perfume industry, of course. The substance, while foul smelling when it first hits land, becomes much more pleasant as it dries in the sun—and can be used to help prolong the scent of perfume.

According to the BBC, Ken Wilman's dog began sniffing the substance (known as ambergris) while walking on Morecambe beach in England. Wilman went to investigate, picked up the stone-like object, gave it a whiff and then dropped it like a bad habit. Wilman told the BBC: "When I picked it up and smelled it, I put it back down again and I thought 'urgh.'"

Wilman left the beach, but something about his stinky discovery stayed in his mind. He did a little research at home and figured out that it was likely ambergris. He then went back to the beach and retrieved the seven-pound object. A French dealer has already offered more than $50,000.

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#2 spacer

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 13:55

Didn't a story like this pop up a few months ago?

Are whales vomiting more often now? :|

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 14:18

^ Yes -- I posted it.

Whales are probably vomiting more, from humans polluting the oceans.

#4 DocM

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 19:55

Ambergris isn't produced because the sperm whale is sick, from dirty water or otherwise, it's a leftover from their biliary duct digestive secretions (origins: liver & pancreas.)

#5 Growled

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:49

Who would have ever thought vomit would be worth so much?

#6 DocM

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 15:26

One of several "interesting" things used in health & beauty products.

Simethicone - intestinal gas treatment, used on hair

Placental extract - human and animal, used in skin & hair products

Breast milk - in high end soaps (illegal in some states)

Crushed Cochineal beetles - red lipsticks & blushes

Infant foreskins - high end collagen skin cream

Bull semen - hair treatments, esp. in Europe

Tallow - animal fats rendered from slaughterhouses, collected roadkill, lab animals, euthanized pets etc., skin conditioners, lipsticks, eye shadows

Chicken bone marrow - face creams, moisturizers

Capsaicin - aka pepper spray, used in warming lotions and creams, especially those in sex lotions