Seen here holding a chunk of puke, 8-year old Charlie Naysmith proudly displays the 600-gram (~1.3 pound) piece of ambergris he found washed up on a British beach. WTF is ambergris and why is it worth a fortune? Let's get our learn on, shall we? (We shall is the thing!)
Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull gray or blackish color produced in the digestive system of and regurgitated or secreted by sperm whales.
Freshly produced ambergris has a marine, fecal odor. However, as it ages, it acquires a sweet, earthy scent commonly likened to the fragrance of rubbing alcohol without the vaporous chemical astringency. The principal historical use of ambergris was as a fixative in perfumery, though it has now been largely displaced by synthetics.
So yeah, oldschool perfume makers will pay top dollar for the stuff to make their scents last longer. It's basically disgusting, disgusting treasure. To the beach! *hours later, dumping bag of finds on table* Are any of these ambergris? "Nope, all rocks." Damn -- and this? "That's a condom." You sure? I thought it was a jellyfish.
Thanks to Thel200ster, Dunc and Rndm Hero, who have already started mixing up the biggest batch of syrup of ipecac the world has ever seen. That's the stuff that makes you puke. Well of course it's not funny if you have to explain it.