Other Stuff – Ambergris

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I know what you’re wondering as you look at the above picture: “Where did that kid get his hands on the new IPhone 5!?” No, no, no, that’s not the IPhone 5! It’s something really amazing; a chunk of whale vomit.

Aren’t you glad you checked this blog page today? Get ready to learn more than you ever thought you’d know about whale vomit!

Whale vomit that comes from sperm whales is called ambergris. You might be asking yourself, Are there so many different kinds of whale vomit lying around that sperm whale vomit needs it’s own word? Would the following conversation ever take place in the real world:

Sven: “Whoa! be careful there Timmy, you almost stepped in some whale vomit!”

Timmy: “Thanks Sven, but you know, that looks more like ambergris.”

Sven: (LOOKING CLOSER AT LUMP) Well I’ll be, you’re right! It is ambergris!

That would be a ridiculous conversation! Why? Because other whales do not produce ambergris! Only sperm whales burp this substance into the ocean. It seems for all it’s majestic beauty, sperm whales have no manners whatsoever. Which also explains why in the middle of the ocean, on quiet nights, sailors have reported hearing in the distance the sorrowful sounding cry: “Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse meeeeeee!”

When the ambergris is first deposited in the ocean, it has a horrible smell. After floating in the ocean for a decade or so, it turns waxy and acquires a sweet odor. This in turn makes it very rare, and valuable. Perfume companies use it. In fact, this particular lump found is estimated to be worth $63,000. Which explains why a quick internet search finds the article entitled “How Can Whale Vomit Help Me Retire?”

So the above conversation would more likely sound like this;

Sven: “Whoa! be careful there Timmy, you almost stepped in some waxy vomit!”

Timmy: “Thanks Sven, but you know, that looks more like ambergris.”

Sven: (LOOKING CLOSER AT LUMP) Well I’ll be, you’re right! It is ambergris! Now I can retire!

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