When A Couple Found This Strange Rock On A Beach, They Had No Idea Of How Insanely Valuable It Was

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The best place to discover some of the ocean's secrets is to take a walk on the beach. Keep your eyes peeled and pay attention because some real treasures can be found washed up on the shore. People have found all sorts of amazing things on the beach, including some that are actually worth some money. Gary and Angela Williams found that out for themselves while walking on their favorite beach. They found a strange object that turned out to be insanely valuable.

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Gary And Angela Williams

In the spring, Gary and Angela took a walk along one of their favorite beaches: Middleton Sands in Lancashire, England. They found an object that caught their attention, mainly because of its horrible odor. However, the couple had read about a similar object in the news and wondered if they had come across ambergris.

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He stated, "It smells too bad, though; it's a very distinctive smell, like a cross between squid and farmyard manure. It feels like a rock-hard rubber ball. Its texture is like wax, like a candle. When you touch it, you get wax sticking to your fingers. If the ambergris is worth a lot of money, it will go a long way towards buying us a static caravan. It would be a dream come true."

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Middleton Sands In Lancashire, England

Middleton Sands Beach is located in Lancashire, England. The beach has five hundred miles of pristine white sand along the ocean. It is a great beach for swimming, surfing, whale watching, kite surfing, and fishing. 

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It's even a great place to visit in the winter to look for whales. It is a great beach for families; the water is calm and is protected by a shark net. It is a great place to look for some treasures.

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Foul Smell

Ambergris is valuable, but it also has a strong odor. Fresh ambergris has a strong fecal odor and is the best clue that it is, in fact, ambergris. However, the scent is said to be more pleasant once the mass dries out. 

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At this stage, it is often described as musky. Many describe it as a sweet, earthy scent as it ages, commonly likened to the Isopropyl alcohol fragrance, without the chemical astringency.

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Rare Marine Substance Called Ambergris

Ambergris is also referred to as whale vomit and is created by whales. It is a solid, waxy substance that is produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. It is formed from a secretion of the bile duct in the intestines of the sperm whale and is often seen floating on the sea or coastlines. 

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The substance is usually passed through like fecal matter, but if the mass is too large to pass through the intestines, it will be expelled via the mouth.

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Sperm Whale

The sperm whale is a large beast that is found in oceans all around the world. It is a carnivorous marine mammal and is the largest predator in the world. They are recognized by several bumps on their dorsal surface, thick flukes, and a very large head. 

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Their name is based on a wax-like substance that is found inside the whale's head. The whale can grow to sixty-seven feet long and weigh up to sixty-three tons.

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At One Time, Sperm Whales Were Commonly Hunted For Their Blubber

At one time, sperm whales were often hunted for their blubber. The blubber was used to make everything from candles and soap to machine oil and pencils. 

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They also harvested the ambergris. Sadly, as many as one million whales were slaughtered during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. However, the sperm whale population has slowly recovered since hunting was outlawed in the 1980s.

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Hunting Was Outlawed In The 1980s

The whale species was being depleted to near extinction, which led to the banning of whaling in many countries in 1969, and it was completely banned worldwide in the late 1980s.

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However, there is still legal whaling today in certain countries. It is primarily done for food. Many species and populations have rebounded, but there are several that have not. 

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In 1820, A Sperm Whale Rammed The Essex

On November 20, 1820, a massive male sperm whale slammed into a New England vessel called The Essex. The ship was beaten and battered, causing the twenty-one crewman to abandon the sinking ship. They got into three oar-driven whaleboats and made a three-thousand-mile journey across the open and unforgiving ocean. 

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Several of the men died en route, and the others barely clung to life by resorting to cannibalism. They were eventually rescued off the coast of Chile after being at sea for ninety-five days. Only eight of the men survived.

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Herman Melville's Moby Dick Is Based On The Real-Life Incident

The book Moby-Dick was written by Herman Melville in 1851. It is based on the New England vessel, The Essex, tragedy. The book received mixed reviews when it was published in 1850 as The Whale in Britain and then later re-released as Moby-Dick in the United States. 

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Melville's reputation was not high when he died, but his book Moby-Dick grew to be considered one of the great American novels.

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The Ancient Egyptians Used Ambergris As A Kind Of Incense

The ancient Egyptians used ambergris as a kind of incense, with the first recorded use of ambergris as a perfume enhancer in the Arab emirate of Granada in Muslim Spain in the tenth century. 

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The ambergris acts on the hormonal system of men without actual physical contact, making any woman who wears an ambergris perfume inexplicably, yet irresistibly attractive. In fact, Jamie Frater uses natural New Zealand ambergris in several of his perfumes.

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Europeans In The Middle Ages Believed Ambergris Had Medicinal Properties

Ambergris was a very valuable commodity in the medieval period because it was believed a panacea that could cure everything, including headaches, colds, epilepsy, and heart disease. 

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The wealthy even believed that ambergris was a plague deterrent because the fragrance covered the smell of the air, which was believed to be a cause of the plague. During the Middle Ages, Europeans used ambergris for many ailments.

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The Sperm Whale's Eating Habits

Sperm whales love to eat giant squid, but they have hard beaks that cannot be digested. As a result, the whales vomit most of the beaks out, but the ones that are swallowed travel into a whale's digestive system. 

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They are then covered in ambergris as protection for the animal's intestines and stomach. The whales are constantly feeding and are capable of consuming two tons of food in a single day.

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Ambergris Is Created Very Slowly, Over Periods Of Years

Ambergris takes many years to form. The book Floating Gold: A Natural and Unnatural) History of Ambergris, written by Christopher Kemp, reads that ambergris is only produced by sperm whales. 

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Only about one percent of sperm whales produce ambergris. It is rare and can float for many years before making it on land. It is a very slim chance that you will find ambergris on the beach but not impossible.

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Sperm Whales Can Dive To An Astonishing Depth Of Around 7,400 Feet

Sperm whales can dive to an unbelievable depth of about seven thousand four hundred feet. The deepest known dive by a sperm whale was about three thousand meters down. 

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They can also stay underwater for up to ninety minutes at a time because their unique respiratory system allows them to store oxygen in their lungs. They are also known to breach, which is breaking the surface and jumping completely out of the water.

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The Sperm Whale Has A Massive Brain

Another very interesting fact about the sperm whale is that it has the biggest brain on Earth. Its brain is more than five times heavier than a human's and can grow up to sixty-seven feet long. 

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The average length for a male is fifty-two feet. A newborn weighs about one short ton and is roughly thirteen feet long. Female sperm whales are usually much smaller, with an average of about thirty-eight feet long.

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Topsail Island

Topsail Island is a long barrier island off the coast of North Carolina and is twenty-six miles long. The island is between the barrier islands of the Crystal Coast and the beaches of the Cape Fear region. 

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The New River Inlet is at the northeastern edge of the island, and the island is separated from the mainland by a series of small sounds and channels. It is where the couple found the valuable piece of ambergris.

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The Site Is Believed To Have Been Formed Around 18,000 Years Ago

Barrier islands are long, narrow offshore deposits of sand and are parallel to the coastline. It is believed that the barrier islands were formed about eighteen thousand years ago when the last Ice Age ended. 

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When the Ice Age ended, the glaciers melted and receded, sea levels rose, and flooded areas behind the beach ridges. The rising waters carried sediments to the shallow areas, and the waves and currents continued to bring in sediments, which built up and formed the barrier islands.

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Barrier Islands Are Known For Their Beautiful Beaches And Unique Animal Habitat

The barrier islands are eight clusters of thirteen barrier islands from the Savannah to the St. Mary's River. They are especially known for their popular ocean-facing recreational beaches and pristine mainland-facing marshes. 

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In addition, the wetlands are filled with grass and silt and provide a habitat for a variety of plants and animals. The islands are among the most biologically productive natural systems on Earth.

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Topsail Island Is Renowned For Great Fishing And Also Acts As A Major Nesting Site For Sea Turtles

Topsail Island is well known for its great fishing but also because it acts as a major nesting site for sea turtles. Sadly, sea turtle populations are rapidly decreasing, but efforts are being made to focus on the egg sites. There are egg sites along the coastlines, which include four main species. 

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The species include loggerhead, green, leatherback, and Ridley sea turtles. The Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Island, North Carolina, is committed to overseeing and protecting the egg sites.

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In 2015, Denny Bland Discovered A Gigantic Tooth

In 2015, Denny Bland found a massive tooth in North Carolina that was almost as big as his hand. It was after heavy rainfall and high tides along the coastline, which was caused by Hurricane Joaquin. It led to the Megalodon tooth being swept up on the beach. 

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The tooth was a fossilized tooth from sharks that swam the oceans up to fifteen million years ago. Bland stated, "Oh my God, like I said, I felt like I was a lottery winner or something." There were similar teeth found earlier in the year.

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Aurora Fossil Museum

The Aurora Fossil Museum is a museum in Aurora, North Carolina, and its collection is built around fossils recovered from a nearby phosphate mine. The museum also includes fossil specimens donated from around the world. 

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It maintains two spoils piles in the park that are filled with mine tailings where small shells, shark teeth, coral, and other fossils are easy to find. The pits are open to the public and tourists during daylight hours.

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Megalodon

The Megalodon is a now-extinct species of mackerel shark which lived approximately 3.6 million years ago. It was a close relative of the great white shark and possibly a member of the family Lamnidae. 

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However, it has since been discovered to be part of the extinct family Otodontidae. It is regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators but is only known from fragmentary remains.

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During Its Reign, The Megalodon Was the Planet's Largest Predator

Megalodon is known for its fossilized teeth and a few scattered bones. Over the past many years, paleontologists have come up with estimates based on tooth size and its relation to the Great White Shark. 

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Scientists have estimated that adult Megalodons were fifty-five to sixty feet long and weighed between fifty and seventy-five tons. Some were even bigger, but it definitely was the planet's largest predator.

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Paleontologist Chuck Ciampaglio

Chuck Ciampaglio, a doctor of paleontology and professor of Earth and environmental sciences, teaches at Wright State University-Lake Campus. He has also been featured on nationally televised programs on the Discovery and National Geographic Channels. 

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He is an expert on Megalodon, and when he gives presentations, he brings with him specimens of shark remains, both large and small, including fossilized teeth and jaws.

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The Megalodon Was Much Larger Than The T-Rex

The Megalodon was much larger than the Tyrannosaurus rex, partially because the ocean's natural buoyancy allows 'apex predators' to grow to massive sizes. Some of the larger marine reptiles of the Mesozoic Era weighed thirty to forty tons at the most, and a modern Great White Shark is at most three tons. 

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The only marine animal that is larger than the Megalodon is the plankton-eating Blue Whale, which can weigh well over one hundred tons.

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The Megalodon's Massive Jaws Contained A Total Of 276 Teeth 

The Megalodon's jaw was massive and contained a total of two hundred and seventy-six teeth that were arranged in five rows. In 2008, a research team used computer simulations to calculate Megalodon's biting power. 

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A modern Great White Shark shuts its jaws with roughly 1.8 tons of force, and a Megalodon chomped down on its prey with a force of between 10.8 to 18.2 tons. Their teeth were serrated much like a bread knife, with a saw-like edge on both sides.

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North Carolina Is Considered One Of The Best Places To Find Megalodon Teeth

The coastal waterways and beaches in the Carolinas, especially North Carolina, are considered prime locations to find Megalodon teeth. It is where one of the largest teeth was ever found. 

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It was a 6.7-inch tooth that was found in the Morgan River near Beaufort, South Carolina. There have been several large teeth found on North Carolina beaches, including a gray and black tooth that was just over 5.5 inches long.

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A Croatian Man Found A Black Megalodon Tooth In Central Europe

Stjepan Sucec, a Croatian man, found a giant Megalodon tooth while he was searching for shells in his local river. The tooth was more than one hundred years old, and it suggests that the shark reached a maximum length of eighteen meters. 

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Drazen Japundzic, a geologist from the Natural History Museum in Zagreb, agreed that it is most likely a tooth of a Megalodon that lived millions of years ago.

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Danish Scientist Nicolaus Steno

In 1666, a physician at the Florence Court, Nicolaus Steno, dissected a shark's head. He noticed the similarities between the shark's teeth and glossopetrae. Steno was very interested in how the teeth got into the rocks and how layers of rock formed. 

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He is now referred to as the "Father of Stratigraphy." In 1675, he became a priest and, later, a Bishop. His life and work have been studied especially in relation to geology in the late nineteenth century.

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Teeth Develop Into Fossils And Can Survive For Millions Of Years

Teeth eventually develop into fossils and can survive for millions of years. They are made of a hard-calcified tissue called dentin. Megalodon teeth are shockingly common, like most sharks, they constantly lose teeth throughout the course of their lives. 

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Megalodon swam freely in tropical and subtropical waters all over the world. As a result, their teeth have been found on every continent except Antarctica.

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The Theory For The Beasts' Extinction Is Due To The Ice Age

Scientists' theory for why Megalodons went extinct is the beginning of an Ice Age that caused large volumes of water to be locked up as ice and dried up the warm coastal areas they patrolled. 

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They lived for twenty million years, slowly beginning to die out until they became extinct. Some have also stated they believe it could be because giant whales disappeared, and they constituted the bulk of their diet.

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Homo Habilis

Homo Habilis is an extinct species from the Early Pleistocene of East and South Africa. The species lived somewhere between 1.65 million and 2.31 million years ago. 

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They directly evolved into modern humans. Scientists are adamant that the last Megalodon died out 2.6 million years ago while our distant Homo habilis roamed the Earth.

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A Rare Find In Thailand

In Thailand, fisherman Narong Phetcharaj found a thirty kg lump of ambergris on a beach in Surat Thani, Thailand. He found the valuable item on September 27, 2021, and he found out it could be worth more than one million dollars. 

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Narong stated, "None of the villagers has ever seen or touched a real whale ambergris before; that's why everybody was happy. I'm so excited I don't know what to do. I plan to sell the ambergris as I've already received a certificate to prove that it's real. If I can get a good price, I'll retire from working as a fisherman and throw a party for my friends."

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Group Of Fisherman Find Ambergris Worth $1.1 Million

Thirty-five fishermen in Al-Khaisah, Yemen, were brought out of poverty after they found a piece of ambergris worth 1.1 million dollars. When they heard about the substance, they took the whale to shore and cut it open to see if there was ambergris in its stomach. 

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One fisherman said, "As soon as we got close to it, there was this strong smell, and we had the feeling that this whale had something. We decided to hook the whale in, take it to shore and cut into it to see what was inside its belly, and yes, it was ambergris. The smell wasn't very nice, but lots of money." The men divided up the money equally and they decided to give some of the money to homes for the needy in their village.

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The Megalodons' Teeth Were Over Seven Inches Long

Megalodon were given the name 'giant tooth' because their teeth were massive. The prehistoric shark's teeth were heart-shaped, serrated, and more than half a foot long. 

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A Great White Shark's teeth are only about three inches long. More than sixty-five million years ago, the Tyrannosaurus Rex was a creature that did possess bigger teeth. In addition, some saber-toothed cats were also in the same ballpark.

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Megalodon Had Worldwide Distribution

Some sharks and marine reptiles of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras were restricted to the coastlines or inland rivers and lakes of certain continents. 

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However, Megalodon enjoyed a truly global distribution and were found in warm-water oceans all over the world. The one thing that kept adult Megalodons from going too far toward solid land was their massive size. They would've been beached.

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Megalodon Helped Invent Modern Geology

People have dug strange objects out of rocks in Malta for centuries that eventually were called tongue stones or glossopetrae. Many thought that the tongue stones fell from the heavens during an eclipse. 

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In addition, Medieval legend attributed them to Saint Paul casting a curse on the island's serpents. However, today, it's mostly agreed that the stones they found were actually Megalodon teeth. Megalodon actually helped invent modern geology.

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Megalodon Was A Whale Eater

Megalodon had a massive diet and often feasted on the prehistoric whales that swam the Earth's oceans during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs. Their diet also consisted of squids, dolphins, fish, and even massive turtles. 

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Some have even thought that a Megalodon may have even crossed paths with the giant prehistoric whale Leviathan. They were massive and therefore needed to eat a lot, even humpback whales were apart of their diet.

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Sperm Whales Battled With Giant Squid

There are several legends about sperm whales' battles with giant squids. Because they are such deep divers, they are limited to prey that can thrive at those depths. Sperm whales have often been found with injuries, scars, and 'sucker marks,' which indicates some rough encounters with a giant squid. 

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Giant squid can actually be the same size and sometimes even bigger than sperm whales and will viciously fight with them. It is common to see sperm whales with scars on their heads from the beaks of giant squid.

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Sperm Whales Are The Loudest Animals On The Planet 

Another interesting fact about sperm whales is that they are the loudest animals on the planet. Beneath the water, they can produce echolocations and clicks measuring about two hundred decibels. This is way beyond the volume required to burst a human's eardrum. They use echolocation to navigate oceans and detect other objects. 

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They also only spend less than ten percent of their time sleeping, and when they do sleep, they dive down and sleep in a vertical orientation with their heads directed towards the water's surface. They usually just take a fifteen-minute nap while they float back up.

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There Are Many Different Ways to Find Ambergris

There have been several different ways to find ambergris. Early Arab ambergris hunters on the coastlines of Oman and Yemen used specially trained camels to sniff out the substance from seaweed, cuttlebones, dead fish, and other detritus found on a beach in the Arabian Sea. 

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They trained the animals to kneel on the sand when they found a piece of ambergris. Several ambergris hunters also use dogs, which would use their sense of smell to find it.

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Ambergris Was Traded Widely

Throughout the ancient world, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans traded ambergris widely. Ambergris appeared in Europe in the early Middle Ages via trade with the Muslim world. It was one of the commodities that were bought and sold in the most lucrative markets in medieval Europe. It would often be shipped to Venice for resale, but ambergris wasn't a major trade item in Venice. 

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However, for centuries, Venice was one of the only markets in Europe where it could be regularly found in any quantity. The Portuguese were the first to import ambergris to Europe after encountering the substance on their long voyages to India and the East Indies.

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Ambergris Value

Ambergris is a very valuable substance, but its value depends on the quantity and quality of the piece of ambergris. The ambergris with the highest value is the older, pale gray-colored, almost white, and with a subtle aroma that may have been floating in the sea for a very long time. 

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The least valuable ambergris is very dark in color with a strong odor of manure. Most buyers of ambergris have a rigorous testing and authentication protocol. The current market price is about thirty dollars per gram for the highest quality.

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Couple On A Romantic Stroll Found Whale Vomit Worth $800,000 On The Beach

There was another couple that, while on a romantic stroll, found a piece of ambergris worth eight hundred thousand dollars. Veera Juengboon and his wife, Monruedee, were on a trip to Phuket. 

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Juengboon stated that he often watches science documentaries, which meant he recognized the substance as ambergris. He found a fifteen-kilogram mass on the beach under the sea trash.

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Siriporn Niamrin Took Home A Misshapen Lump She Found On The Beach

Siriporn Niamrin, a woman in Thailand, came upon a substance while walking on a beach on the coast of Nakhon Si Thammarat. She thought that it could maybe be worth something and decided to take it home and check. She asked her neighbors to help her identify the object and was shocked when they said it was ambergris. 

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She stated, "If I really have the genuine ambergris, I can help my community once I find a buyer for it. I feel lucky to have found such a large piece. I hope it will bring me money. I'm keeping it safe in my house, and I have asked the local council to visit to check it."

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An Eight-Year-Old Boy Discovered A Piece Of Whale Vomit

Charlie Naysmith, an eight-year-old boy, found a lump of ambergris in a patch of seaweed at Hengistbury Head in Bournemouth. He thought it was just a normal stone at first. 

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However, he looked on the internet with his father and discovered it was likely ambergris from a sperm whale. His father said that the substance his son found was probably about twenty years old and could be worth about forty thousand euros.

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Dylan Duato Spotted An Unusual Blob On A Falmouth Beach

Dylan Duato and some of his friends found some ambergris on a Falmouth beach. Dylan stated, "I took my foot, and I kind of pushed against it a little bit with my foot. And it had kind of like a spongy feeling. Because basically a video I watched a couple of years back, it was like insane finds." 

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His father stated, "We've had it for two or three weeks now, and it seems like it's headed more toward the ambergris. Whatever it turns out to be, I think we've all sort of agreed that it's been a great experience, a learning experience for us all." Dylan stated that if it turns out to be ambergris, he is going to save the money for college.

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Ambergris Is Sometimes Called 'Floating Gold'

For thousands of years, ambergris has been referred to as 'floating gold' by scientists and those who have searched for it. The substance often floats in the sea and, when found, is worth thousands of dollars. 

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It is literally floating gold for those that find it. It is also called a 'treasure of the sea, and there is even a book about ambergris titled Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris.

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How To Identify Ambergris

There are several ways to identify ambergris, and one of the first ways is to check out the color. There are several shades of ambergris, which will reveal its quality. The substance will have a slightly waxy feel to it and appear grainy inside. 

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It should be brittle and will probably look layered inside. If you press it with your finger, you should be able to create a dent. If you find squid beaks, then you have found ambergris. It should also feel much lighter than it looks like it should.

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