What is the ambergris that made a fisherman rich

These are cetacean secretions sought to produce perfumes. Pulled up with the net 30 kilograms of Ambergris worth more than 1 million euros.

Few people know that cetaceans produce a substance that can be worth millions of euros. A fisherman in southern Thailand became rich just for catching a 30-kilogram pile of whale vomit. This is Ambergris, ambergris, a highly sought after product in the perfume industry. Narong Phetcharaj was sailing near Niyom beach in Surat Thani province when he made the lucky catch. Experts from Prince of Songkla University confirmed the origin of the find. Already in February, thirty-five fishermen in Yemen have solved their economic problems after finding a huge amount of vomit in the carcass of a sperm whale, off the Gulf of Aden.

What is it and why is sought ambergris

The ambergris is produced by the bile ducts of cetaceans, mammals that can reach 18 meters in length. The ducts secrete special secretions that are used by the sperm whale or whale to ingest large or sharp objects. The ambergris accumulates in the intestines and acts as an absorbent substance which, hardening rapidly around the beaks of the molluscs, gives rise to a solid mass capable of soothing any irritation. These gastrointestinal fluids are then expelled from the animal's body into water through vomiting. They initially look like mucilage and are black in color, then solidify and rise to the surface. The initial odor of ambergris is strong, acrid, and bad for a human's sense of smell. Once the substance's drying process is complete, however, the ambergris takes on a gray color and gives off a sweet tobacco scent that is very long-lasting with a wax-like consistency.

The aroma of ambergris is coveted by the perfume industry where it is highly sought after. By melting pieces of whale vomit and subjecting the mixture to some chemical processing, a liquid is produced that can be added to an industrial perfume to make its scent persist longer and fix it. Nowadays a kilogram of ambergris sells for more than 40 thousand euros, about 35 thousand pounds, because it can be obtained only from beached animals or from blocks found in the depths or on the coasts of the oceans, as in the case of the Thai fisherman.

Regarding the habitats of whales and sperm whales, it has been recently discovered that the world has also a fifth ocean.

Stefania Bernardini