Beach Scavenger Finds Whale Vomit Worth £500,000 Searching For Recyclable Waste

by : Cameron Frew on : 12 Dec 2019 18:07
Beach Scavenger Finds Whale Vomit Worth £500,000 Searching For Recyclable WasteNewsflare

A beach scavenger came across a massive lump of whale vomit he believes to worth more than £500,000. 

While walking along the sand in Songkhla, southern Thailand, and looking for recyclable waste on Wednesday morning, December 11, Surachet Chanchu noticed a grey lump washed ashore.


Immediately, he was struck by the chunk, suspecting that it may be a block of ambergris – a valuable substance formed in the digestive tracts of whales, which is also a sought-after ingredient in the perfume industry.

Check out the video of Surachet and his block of whale vomit below: 


After picking up the lump and taking it home, he performed a quick test in order to determine whether it was indeed ambergris. All that was required was a lighter – after holding it to the substance, it emitted a pleasantly musky smell. It appeared that Surachet’s inkling was correct.


Going off previous sale prices, top-notch ambergris can sell for as much as £14,500-per-1lb lump. If Surachet’s big block is indeed the prized whale vomit, it would be valued at around a whopping £536,500 – he’s currently waiting on government officers to check his find.

Beach Scavenger Whale Vomit 1Newsflare

Surachet said:

I saw the chunk washed ashore at the coastal rock when I was scavenging. I thought it looked like a whale vomit but I need someone who knows about it to come down and check but I do not know who should I contact as well.


Ambergris can reportedly linger in the ocean for more than 100 years after it’s formed from a secretion of the bile duct in the intestines of the sperm whale. Like a fine wine or a nice cheese, it matures over many years – it’s said to have an ‘unforgettable, unique aroma’.

Beach Scavenger Whale Vomit 5Newsflare

As per Ambergris.eu, here’s what you can expect if you come across a pricey block of whale vomit: 

Ambergris has a sweet, lingering, fragrance, with a subtle blend of wet, marine, musky and animal notes, moss, leather and tobacco. When fresh, ambergris emits a strong, unpleasant faecal odor similar to cow dung or horse dung.

After many years floating on the surface of the oceans in the sand currents, the nauseating fecal odor will dissipate to make room for the mystical ‘ambre’ characteristic fragrance, while keeping subtle animal notes.


Just last Friday, December 6, another 2lb chunk of ambergris was found. In November 2016, three Omani fishermen found 80 kilograms of ambergris – and managed to hawk it for $3 million.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, Ocean, sea, Thailand, whales


  1. Ambergris.eu

    Expertise, purchase, sale of ambergris and extracts