It is not often that you walk on the beach and find something worth millions of dollars. However, there have been instances of people finding strange objects or even diamonds, making them rich overnight. But a man in Thailand found something that was supposed to be worthless. Narit Suwansang found large chunks of a strange rock that turned out to be whale vomit. It is worthless, right?
You will be wrong to assume that. Getting your hands on a whale vomit is more difficult than finding gold. The obvious aspect is that the largest marine mammals don't come to a washroom and puke. If by chance it washes up ashore, we humans get to see that. When a sperm whale throws up, the bile turns into a hardened lump with a yellowish color. The rock is called ambergris.
Striking More Than Gold
But the value of ambergris to humans is unimaginable. Whale vomit is used in luxury perfumes as addictive to make the scent last longer. As it is rare, one kilogram of "Grade A" whale vomit is worth $42,600, close to the price of gold ($59,141 per kilogram).
The rock (vomit) Suwansang found lying on a Nakhon Si Thammarat beach weighed about 100 kilograms, making it worth $4.2 million and also the heaviest piece found ever. The 60-year-old man has already received an offer of about $42,600 per kilogram, making him an overnight millionaire.
However, Suwansang didn't immediately recognize what he found was whale vomit. After he brought the strange-looking rocks home, he tried to have a closer look using a flame. As soon as it came in contact with the rock, it started melting with a pungent smell. That's when he realized that he struck gold — whale vomit. Intrigued by that, Suwansang wanted to know more. "I want to know more about this ambergris. Please find out what kind of whale puke I found," he told Asia One.
'Scared of Thieves'
Considering that only two from Thailand had ever found such things, he let his relatives put photos of the whale puke on Facebook. But it turned out to be a nightmare. People started flocking to his home every day in disbelief that someone could find 100 kilograms of whale puke by accident. The only two persons who found such things in Thailand made thousands of dollars. A fisherman in Koh Samui, Southern Thailand found 6.5kgs of ambergris in October 2019 that was worth $470,000. Another person from Songkhla, Thailand made around $650,000 for 16kgs of bile last year.
Hence, it was astonishing for people to find out that someone found 100kgs of it. As Suwansang's house started crowding every day, he became scared that someone could steal it. As he waited for certification from Thailand's fisheries department which would also determine what kind of whale puke it was, Suwansang decided to report the finding to Pak Phanang Police Station to avoid it being stolen.
However, such stories of becoming an overnight millionaire are not rare. Last month, an Indonesian coffin maker struck rich after a piece of 2.2kg of meteorite crashed through his roof. The meteorite was classified as CM1/2 carbonaceous chondrite that was worth $1.8 million.