What’s worth $85,000 and smells like a 4o-year-old shoe? A piece of whale vomit – potentially.
Alan Derrick, 67, and his son Tom, 39, discovered a “smelly, rubbery” rock while strolling the beach in Somerset, U.K. It turns out this smelly find could be a large chunk of ambergris – a hard mixture from the digestive tracts of sperm whales that takes years to form.
“It smells terrible. It smells like walking into a very old damp building,” Alan Derrick said.
The substance is popular in fragrances and can bring in a hefty sum.
”We’re not getting too carried away about the money,” said Alan Derrick, who plans to put the proceeds in a safety deposit box for his 2-year-old grandson, Matthew.
The family has sent samples to labs in Italy, New Zealand and France, hoping to confirm it is indeed ambergris. The 2.5 pound chunk is being auctioned off by the family on eBay with a minimum bid of $85,000.