By Muyiwa Olayinka
What makes sperm whale poop so damn expensive?
A British man named Ken Wilman found a six-pound (two kilograms) lump of sperm whale shit (also known as ambergris) while walking his dog on the beach.
Afterwards, a French dealer offered him €48,000 for what was, in all seriousness, a piece of crap.
Wilman’s story has a precedent.
In 2012, an eight-year-old boy walking with his father along a beach in Dorset found some sperm whale butt chocolate worth €44,000. Before that, in 2006, a couple in Australia came across a 32-pound (14 kilograms) log that reportedly netted them almost €218,000.
What is Ambergris?
Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish colour produced in the intestines of sperm whales
It’s produced by the whale to protect its gut from the very sharp beaks of squid that it feeds on deep down in the ocean
Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish colour produced in the intestines of sperm whales. It can float on the ocean for years before washing ashore
It is used in the production of perfume and as a result is extremely valuable.
The reason for the price tag is that for generations, ambergris has been highly sought-after by the high-end perfume industry.
Houses like Chanel and Lanvin covet this extraordinary caca for its unique bouquet and ability to bind scents to human skin.
So if by any chance you stumble on ambergris, it could fetch you cool cash because many expensive brands of perfumes contain whale’s faeces
Contributions from vice magazine