A woman in Thailand stumbled across a huge lump believed to be costly whale vomit while walking on a beach near her house.
The barf estimated to be valued at nearly 190,000 pounds weighs around 15lb, and is 12 inches wide and 24 inches long.
49-years-old Siriporn Niamrin, spotted the vomit lump while walking the beach following a rainstorm when she saw a huge mass washed up ashore in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Thailand on February 23.
As she walked closer to the strange-looking substance, the woman noticed that it smelled like fish. Siriporn, then dragged the mass back to her house, thinking it might be worth some money.
After asking her neighbours to help her with the oval-shaped find, the woman was shocked to discover that the lump, also known as ambergris, valued approx. 186,500 pounds.
"If I really have the genuine ambergris, I can help my community once I find a buyer for it," Siriporn told Daily Mail. "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," she added.
What is Ambergris?
Ambergris also called ambergrease, or grey amber is whale vomit which is a solid, waxy and flammable substance and is dull grey or blackish in colour. However, it is believed to be passed either as spew or faeces.
How is it produced?
It is a very costly wax that is produced as a secretion in the intestines (digestive system) of the sperm whale. The whale produces it to protect its gut from very sharp beaks of squid it prays on in the ocean. The substance acquires a sweet, earthy scent as it ages.
Where is it found?
The substance also described as floating gold is found afloat the tropical seas and is used as a fixative in perfumes as it is slowest in evaporating. Although Ambergris can be found on the ocean surface as well. However, the substance is quite difficult to find and is normally exported to the gulf as it gets very high prices there.
What is it used for?
Since Ambergris is soluble in alcohol, chloroform, ether and certain volatile and fixed oils, it is commonly used as a fixative in the manufacture of rare perfumes and fragrances like musk. It makes a scent last longer. There also is a superstition that burning Ambergris for good scent makes a person rich. Dogs are known to get attracted to its smell and hence are sometimes used by ambergris searchers.