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Fisherman Finds Lump Of Whale Vomit Worth £171,000

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Fisherman Finds Lump Of Whale Vomit Worth £171,000

A fisherman in Thailand has reeled in a lump of waxy of whale vomit that could be worth around £171,000.

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Chalermchai Mahapan, 20, had been out fishing for mullet when he made an even better catch in the form the 7kg blob at Samila Beach in Songkhla on 6 January.

Mahapan had given up for the day after a change in the weather, so had returned to dock his boat when he caught the precious lump of ambergris.

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At first, he thought it was just an ordinary rock, but when he took a closer look, he suspected it could be valuable.

Credit: ViralPress
Credit: ViralPress

Mahapan took it home with him, while he tried to work out what it was - and was eventually told by some of his neighbours that it could be whale spew.

He said: "I had no idea what this thing was until I asked the elderly villagers here who informed me about ambergris."

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Mahapan says he was fairly certain it is the real deal as he burnt some small pieces on an open can lid and they melted very quickly, as ambergris would.

A sample was then sent off to a lab, where it was confirmed to be legit.

Mahapan added: "I feel very lucky to have found it."

He is now hoping to sell it for 1,00,000 Thai baht (£24,500) per kilogram.

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Credit: ViralPress
Credit: ViralPress

"I'm not in a hurry to sell this," he said. "An agent will find an international buyer for it."

Ambergris forms from a secretion in the bile duct of a whale - and although it sounds pretty gross, it's actually very valuable.

It's found floating in the sea or washed up on beaches.

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When fresh, as you can probably imagine, it smells pretty bad but once it's dried out it develops a sweet, long lasting fragrance, so is often used in fancy perfumes.

Credit: ViralPress
Credit: ViralPress

Last November, another Thai fisherman had a good day out at sea, when he reeled in a huge chunk of the stuff, that could have fetched as much £2.4 million.

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Naris Suwannasang was out walking by the seaside in Nakhon Si Thammarat in the south of Thailand, when he spotted a load of lumps that looked a bit like rocks, and called up his cousins immediately to help him shift the unusual material.

Much like Mahapan, Suwannasang took it home and heated up the substance to see if it melted, which it did.

He said: "The businessman told me that he will come to check the quality of the ambergris later and the price shocked me.

"I could receive around 960,000 Thai baht (£23,740) per kilogram if the ambergris I found is the best grade."

Featured Image Credit: ViralPress

Topics: Interesting, Thailand, Weird

Claire Reid
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