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Briton finds 'rare whale vomit' used in perfumes, gets $84,000 offer

Published on Jan 31, 2013 6:24 PM
 
Picture of a piece of ambergris. A British man has been offered 50,000 euros (S$84,000) for a strange-smelling rock his dog found on a beach, which is likely a rare form of whale vomit, also called ambergris, used in perfumes, the BBC reported on Thursday, Jan 31, 2013. -- PHOTO: AMBERGRIS.CO.NZ

LONDON (AFP) - A British man has been offered 50,000 euros (S$84,000) for a strange-smelling rock his dog found on a beach, which is likely a rare form of whale vomit used in perfumes, the BBC reported on Thursday.

Mr Ken Wilman was walking his dog Madge in the coastal town of Morecambe in north-west England when she began "poking at a rather large stone" with a waxy texture and yellowish colour.

At first he left it on the beach, but "something triggered in my mind", Wilman said, prompting him to go back and retrieve the object, which he believes is a piece of ambergris, a substance found in the digestive systems of sperm whales.

Whales sometimes spew up ambergris, which floats on water and has been highly prized for centuries. It is used in perfume-making for the musky fragrance it acquires as it ages - but newer ambergris is foul-smelling.

 
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