A fisherman who lives a hand-to-mouth life has become a millionaire overnight after discovering a blob of whale vomit washed up on a beach.
Sixty-year-old Naris Suwannasang found it in Nakhon Si Thammarat, southern Thailand, after seeing several grayish blobs of jelly-like substance on a beach near his home.
The rare substance, ambergris, is produced in the intestines of sperm whales.
Although a synthetic version has been devised, the real thing is still highly appreciated by perfumers who use it to extend and deepen scents.
Naris called some of his cousins to help him haul the strange smelling substance home.
He suspected he might have found a piece of ambergris, and after setting a small piece on fire, he was sure.
What he didn’t realize at the time was that his find was the largest ever: a piece of ambergris worth about £ 2.4 million.
Naris told reporters, “I plan to go to the police and have them record my discovery because I’m afraid [it] maybe stolen from my house. “
He says he has already been approached by a local entrepreneur who had provisionally offered him 960,000 Thai baht (about £ 24,000) per kilo for his record-breaking lump of whale vomit.
Naris currently earns the equivalent of around £ 500 a month.
He is now waiting to find out that the ambergris is high enough to get the best price.
Naris told reporters, “The businessman told me that he will come later to check the quality of the ambergris and the price shocked me.
“I could receive about 960,000 [Baht] per kilogram if the ambergris I have found is the best quality. “
In April 2016, a 1.57kg blob of ambergris found near Morecambe Bay in Lancashire sold for £ 50,000
Gary Williams, who discovered it, told me The daily mirror: “It smells a pity … It is a very distinctive scent, like a cross between squid and farmyard manure.”
“It feels like a rock-hard rubber ball. The texture is like wax, like a candle. When you touch it, wax sticks to your fingers. “
He added, “If it’s worth a lot of money, it will go a long way for us to buy a mobile home. It would be a dream come true. “