Rare whale vomit worth £1.1m found by fishermen in stomach of dead creature

Vomit worth a whopping £1.1million has been found in a floating whale carcass.

A group of fishermen found the sick – also called ambergris – in the remains of a giant sperm whale while sailing in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Yemen.

Typically a dull grey or blackish colour, ambergris is an extremely rare and valuable substance used in the perfume industry to make fragrances last longer. It can sell for more than £35,000 per kilo.

It is used in high-end scents from wold famous perfume brands such as Chanel and Lanvin, according to National Geographic.

The team of 35 cut through the sea mammal's enormous gut to retrieve a huge mass of the waxy and highly flammable substance, which is only produced in the intestines of just 1-5% of sperm whales.

One of the fishermen said they believed the carcass could contain ambergris because of the unique smell it gave off as they closed in on it.

"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," he added.

But they were shocked to discover the find was worth so much money.

The group said they split the cash between them and donated some of it to help the poor in their community.

Sperm whales produce ambergris to line their stomachs so they can digest the sharp beaks of their preferred prey – squid.

Sperm whaling, which was depicted in the classic novel Moby-Dick, became a major industry in the 19th century.

But the practice decimated the sperm whale population until it was banned in 1986.

The animals are now listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature after they were targeted for both ambergris and sperm oil, which was used in oil lamps, lubricants, and candles. The sale of ambergris is banned in the US.

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