One whale’s trash is an 8-year-old boy’s treasure.
Charlie Naysmith was walking along the beach at Hengistbury Head in southern Britain when he picked up a large object that looked and felt like a stone.
As it turned out, that object was actually a piece of ambergris, a substance which is regurgitated by sperm whales. Ambergris is used to prolong the scent of perfume, and therefore is extremely valuable.
The vomit, which weighs a little more than one pound, could be worth as much as $63,000.
“He is into nature and is really interested in it,” said Charlie’s father, Alex. “We have discovered it is quite rare and are waiting for some more information from marine biology experts.”
Charlie is still unsure what he will do with the profits, but according to the Daily Echo, he may build a house for animals.
It is rare that the ambergris gets to shore, but when it does, it is worth its weight in gold. In 2006 a man found a 32.5-pound piece of ambergris on a beach in South Australia that was estimated to be worth nearly $300,000.