Thai woman, 49, finds 7kg lump of whale vomit ambergris washed up outside her home

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2 個月前
A lucky Thai woman found a huge lump believed to be expensive ambergris washed up near her beach house. Siriporn Niamrin, 49, was walking along the beach after a rainstorm when she noticed the strange mass in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Thailand on February 23. She walked up closer to the substance to have a look and found it had a fishy smell. Thinking that it could be something she could sell, she dragged it back to her house which was around 500 metres away from the beach. The oval-shaped lump weighed 7kg and was about 12 inches wide and 24 inches long. Based on previous sale prices, the weight would give the ambergris an estimated value of around 260,000 USD (186,500 GBP). The woman asked her neighbours for help to know what it was and was shocked when some of them told her that it could be rare ambergris, also known as whale vomit. To further check whether the lump was actually ambergris, they held a naked flame to some of its parts which caused it to melt. It then hardened again after it cooled down. The waxy lump also had a fishy smell – another indication, according to neighbours – that the woman had found a genuine piece of ambergris. Siriporn is now waiting for experts to visit her house to confirm that the lump is genuine ambergris, the rare ingredient used in the perfume industry. Siriporn said: ‘If I really have the genuine ambergris, I can help my community once I find a buyer for it. ‘I feel lucky to have found such a large piece. I hope it will bring me money. I’m keeping it safe in my house and I have asked the local council to visit to check it.’ Ambergris is produced by sperm whales when bile ducts in the gastrointestinal tract make secretions to ease the passage of large or sharp objects. The whale them vomits the mucilage which solidifies and floats on the surface of the ocean. The solid chunk has a foul smell at first but after the mucilage dries out, it develops a sweet and long-lasting fragrance, which makes it a sought-after ingredient in the perfume industry. In April 2016, a 1.57-kilogram ambergris ball found in Lancashire sold for GBP 50,000 while in November of the same year, three Omani fishermen found 80 kilograms of ambergris and sold it for USD 3 million. The province where the substance was found, Nakhon Si Thammarat, has a coast on the Gulf of Thailand. Ocean currents from the South China Sea often lead there and the region has a history of pieces of ambergris appearing along the shore. Ambergris is produced by sperm whales when bile ducts in the gastrointestinal tract make secretions to ease the passage of large or sharp objects. The whale them vomits the mucilage which solidifies and floats on the surface of the ocean. The solid chunk has a foul smell at first but after the mucilage dries out, it develops a sweet and long-lasting fragrance, which makes it a sought-after ingredient in the perfume industry. In April 2016, a 1.57-kilogram ambergris ball found in Lancashire sold for GBP50,000 while in November of the same year, three Omani fishermen found 80 kilograms of ambergris and sold it for USD3 million.
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