8-Year-Old Finds Whale Vomit Worth $63,000, Will Use Funds to Start Animal Shelter

Ambergris, a waxy substance from the intestines of sperm whales, is a key ingredient for prolonging the scent in perfume.

Ambergris from sperm whales

Sperm whales expel a waxy substance called ambergris, which is a highly prized ingredient in creating long-lasting perfumes. (Photo: James R.D. Scott via Getty Images)

Kelly Zhou has written on a variety of topics for TakePart, predominantly politics, education, and wildlife.

Amid the sand dollars and pebbles on the beach, you might find something almost as valuable than gold.

Charlie Naysmith, an 8-year-old in southern England, was walking along the beach in late August when he stumbled upon a curious-looking yellowish rock.

After bringing it home, Naysmith and his parents discovered that the rock was ambergris, a waxy substance from the intestines of sperm whales, reported the Daily Echo. The valuable rock could net as much as $65,000, and Naysmith has said he may build some sort of animal shelter with the windfall, reported ABC News.

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Ambergris is a highly valuable material, nicknamed “floating gold”. The prized substance is used in perfumes to prolong the scent, according to Scientific American.

Whales produce ambergris when they consume squid: their intestines secrete this fatty substance to protect against sharp squid beaks poking the whale's innards. Eventually, these lumps are likely excreted, according to Scientific American, while other sources have said the material is expelled as vomit.

As for finding more of this "floating gold", experts have said it is unlikely that similar pieces of ambergris will be found in the area, according to the Daily Echo.

“He’s enjoying the attention he’s been getting, but I doubt it’ll last,” said father Alex Naysmith about his son Charlie to ABC News. “He has a club in school that he started to look after animals, and would like to keep going with that.”

Have you ever found anything valuable on the beach? Let us know in the comments.

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