Is ambergris poo or vomit? (2023)

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Is ambergris poo or vomit?

Ambergris is definitely not vomit,” Christopher Kemp, author of “Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris,” told CNN. “It's more like poop, and it comes from the same place as poop, but it's only made by a small percentage of sperm whales, as a result of indigestion.”

(Video) Is Ambergris Whale Poo or Vomit?
(Ambergris Connect)
Is ambergris whale puke?

In most cases the indigestible elements of their prey, such as the beaks and pens, are vomited out before digestion. But in rare circumstances these parts move into the whale's intestines and bind together. They slowly become a solid mass of ambergris, growing inside the whale over many years.

(Video) The Truth About the Huge Demand for Whale Vomit
(Enterprises Explained)
What did ambergris smell like?

Chemist Gunther Ohloff once described ambergris as 'humid, earthy, faecal, marine, algoid, tobacco-like, sandalwood-like, sweet, animal, musky and radiant'. Others comment that it can smell a bit like the wood in old churches, or Brazil nuts.

(Video) Why Whale Vomit Is So Expensive
(Real Science)
Why did people eat ambergris?

Throughout history, ambergris has been most prized in perfumery, but cooks began publishing recipes using the substance around 1660. The English valued ambergris not only for its sweet and earthy fragrance, but because cooking with a luxury ingredient felt, well, luxurious.

(Video) Why Whale Poop Is So Expensive | So Expensive
(Insider Business)
Is ambergris gross?

'Animalistic', 'faecal', 'marine', 'sweet', 'musky', 'pleasant', 'strong', and 'gross' are all words that have been used. A likely story is that, as it is poop, fresh ambergris smells like animal poo - in a big way. As it floats on sea waters, the faecal smell fades and is replaced by the smells of the sea.

(Video) What Is Ambergris & Why Is This Whale Vomit So Valuable? | NewsMo
(India Today)
Why can't you sell ambergris?

Ambergris is a rare and highly valued ingredient in perfumery, and it is derived from the intestinal secretions of sperm whales. While ambergris is not harmful to whales, it is illegal to harvest and sell in many countries due to conservation concerns.

(Video) Thai fisherman finds whale vomit worth over US$1 million
(South China Morning Post)
Why is whale vomit illegal in the US?

In the United States, where sperm whales are considered endangered, ambergris trade is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

(Video) Ambergris: Why Is Whale Vomit Used In Perfumes?
(Animal Discuss)
Can you keep ambergris if you find it?

You may not collect, keep, or sell ambergris because it is a part from an endangered marine mammal.

(Video) Testing Ambergris - Whale Poop 😉
Is ambergris whale sperm?

Ambergris is a result of sperm whales' digestive process, not whale dung. In the form of a waxy material, it is expelled after being created in the whale's intestines.

(Video) Is whale vomit 'floating gold'?
(Channel 4 News)
What happens if you find ambergris?

If you find ambergris, you should report the find to your state or territory environment department (listed below). Information on when and where you find the ambergris may assist us to better understand the life cycle and distribution of the sperm whale.

(Video) Why is whale vomit so valuable? | #aumsum #kids #science #education #children
(It's AumSum Time)

Is ambergris banned in the US?

United States – The possession and trade of ambergris is prohibited by the Endangered Species Act of 1973. India – Sale or possession is illegal under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

(Video) 'We found an $1.5m ambergris fortune in a sperm whale's belly' - BBC News
(BBC News)
How is ambergris expelled?

Ambergris: A Mysterious Substance

For reasons that remain unknown, a small number of sperm whales (maybe as few as one per cent) expel ambergris from their bodies, either by passing it through their intestines or vomiting it out of their mouth.

Is ambergris poo or vomit? (2023)
Can you break ambergris?

Ambergris will have a slightly waxy feel to it and often appears grainy inside. It should be brittle and may look layered inside, you may be able to see this if your find has a broken edge, but remember that breaking apart pieces devalues them if they are ambergris!

How do I know if I've found ambergris?

A “hot needle test” is recommended to confirm that it is ambergris – a test and this is where the challenge starts. Touching the waxy lump with a hot needle should melt it, release white smoke and give off an interesting smell.

How much is ambergris worth in usd?

When mature, ambergris is valued by perfumers for its properties as a fixative, as well as its own fragrance, which can range from deep, faecal animal musk, to a sweeter dark caramel, or light and powdery in the higher grades. Higher-quality ambergris is worth more than $27 a gram.

What replaced ambergris?

Ambergris, a metabolic product of the sperm whale, was for many years one of the most valuable ingredients in fine fragrances. Recently, it has been replaced with synthetic equivalents such as Ambrox® which possesses a powerful amber-type fragrance.

Why does ambergris smell good?

After years in salt water, its cow-dung-like smell gives way to a smooth, rich odor. The molecules of ambergris associate well with fats, and they form attachments to the scents that are put in perfume.

What is floating gold?

Floating Gold or Ambergris (commonly identified as a lump of vomit), is a substance extracted from the bile duct in the intestines of sperm whales. It is a waxy, solid and inflammable substance. It is produced by about one in every hundred sperm whales.

Does ambergris smell good?

Olfactive description of ambergris

Although ambergris is not visually very beautiful (the material has the appearance of a blackish grey stone, rather light, reminiscent of pumice stone), its scent is exquisite. It can have leathery, tobacco-like, woody or camphorated facets.

What is commonly mistaken for ambergris?

"Ambergris has a very particular smell, pleasant in a musky/chocolaty/tobacco kind of way." He says that many of the common substances mistaken for ambergris can be sea sponges or rubber. It's not uncommon to be presented with lumps of old dog turd.

What perfumes contain ambergris?

  • Acqua di Parma. Ambra EdP. $256.
  • Floris. Elite Eau de Toilette 50 ml. $105.
  • Tabac. Original Eau de Toilette Spray 50 ml. $28.
  • Creed. Aventus EdP. $149. 30 ml. ...
  • Acqua di Parma. Blu Mediterraneo Mirto Panarea EdT. $74. 30 ml. ...
  • Creed. Original Vetiver EdP. $209. ...
  • Penhaligon's. Signature Quercus Cologne. $154. ...
  • Floris. Santal EdT 50 ml. $105.

Which beaches have the most ambergris?

We are often asked which beaches are the best locations to find ambergris. The answer is that ambergris can wash ashore on any beach in New Zealand although it is more commonly associated with the west coast beaches of the north island and the exposed coastline of southern New Zealand and Stewart Island.

What is ambergris floating gold?

Ambergris: the “floating gold” of sperm whales

Ambergris is a dense, wax-like material with a hue ranging from dull grey to blackish. It is formed within the digestive tract of sperm whales and possesses flammable properties.

Does all ambergris smell?

Third: Smell, most ambergris has a pleasant musky fragrance. Fourth: You may try to heat a needle by a naked flame and put into the substance. If it goes in easily and comes out with a drip of molten on the point and gives off a pungent musky smell it is looking more positive but not always 100%.

What does ambergris taste like?

Sweet and dry at the same time, ambergris has a musky quality to it while also being reminiscent of a briny ocean; those who have tasted—or gotten a whiff of—ambergris often resort to non-fragrance terms to describe it.

How much is white ambergris worth?

The market price of ambergris depends on the type. Did you know that the most aged and valuable white ambergris is sold at $30/gram, whereas darker and less oxidized ambergris is offered at $10/gram?

How do you collect ambergris?

Sperm whales eject an intestinal slurry called ambergris into the ocean, where the substance hardens as it bobs along. Eventually it gets collected along shores—most often as sheer happenstance, as in the case of eight-year-old Charlie Naysmith in the U.K. a few days ago.

Can ambergris be found on beaches?

This waxy substance is then excreted, and the substance then ends up floating in the sea and can occasionally be found washed up on beaches. By weight, ambergris is worth more than gold because it is used by the perfume industry as an ingredient in the most expensive scents.

Does ambergris smell salty?

Fragrances with high levels of ambergris (natural or synthetic) can also smell 'salty'.

Can you age ambergris?

As a result of the action of sunlight and floating in waves containing oxygen, often for decades, the ambergris undergoes an aging process, during which the strong stercoraceous indole, fecal note, recalling dead fish, disappears (Wériguine, 1966).

Can you smoke ambergris?

Sometimes they add 'ambergris' to smokes, otherwise known as whale vomit – it's a fatty, waxy blob that forms in the intestines of whales that then throw it up! It can be found as smelly congealed lumps floating in the ocean or washed up on beaches. Then they put it in smokes to 'fix' the smell and taste.

How much is whale barf worth?

The substance, which is regurgitated by sperm whales, can be sold for up to $40,000 a kilogram. The fisherman took the mass to experts at the Prince of Songkla University, who identified it as ambergris.

Why is whale meat illegal in the US?

Whale populations shrunk dramatically, and many species were on the verge of extinction; by the 1970s, the US listed eight different species as endangered. Distribution of countries involved in whaling. The IWC's moratorium on whaling has been vital to allowing whale populations to recover.

Where is ambergris most commonly found?

In Eastern cultures ambergris is used for medicines and potions and as a spice; in the West it was used to stabilize the scent of fine perfumes. Ambergris floats and washes ashore most frequently on the coasts of China, Japan, Africa, and the Americas and on tropical islands such as the Bahamas.

How often is ambergris found?

It is clear, then, that ambergris only develops in rare and specific circumstances. Indeed, scientists estimate that ambergris is found in the intestine of only 1-5% of sperm whales or pygmy sperm whales and, despite current media headlines, it is more accurately described as 'whale poo' rather than 'whale sick'!

Can ambergris be found in Florida?

Iranians were the first to use ambergris in making perfumes. The Spanish never found the gold they expected in Florida, except for shipwreck treasures. But in a 1700 report to the King of Spain, a mission father said the Atlantic coast of South Florida was rich with some of the best ambergris to be found anywhere.

Can ambergris be black?

The most common colors are black, gray, brown, beige and white. A very deep amber of intense black color will lighten over time to become dark gray, then light gray / silver, to become white. A dark brown piece will also evolve over time to become light brown, then beige / cream, and finally white.

Why is it called a sperm whale?

They are named after the waxy substance—spermaceti—found in their heads. The spermaceti is an oil sac that helps the whales focus sound. Spermaceti was used in oil lamps, lubricants, and candles.

Does ambergris smell sweet?

Odour=>It has a distinct, animalic odor that is often described as earthy, marine, or musky. Some describe the smell as being similar to that of a damp forest floor, while others say it has a sweet, mossy aroma. Others detect notes of vanilla, tobacco, or even a slight fecal odor.

What is the shelf life of ambergris?

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Appearance:light grey to white solid compact block (est)
Flash Point:> 212.00 °F. TCC ( > 100.00 °C. )
Shelf Life:24.00 month(s) or longer if stored properly.
Storage:store in cool, dry place in tightly sealed containers, protected from heat and light.
Soluble in:
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Is it legal to use ambergris?

It is illegal to possess or trade/sell ambergris in the United States and Australia where it is considered tantamount to possessing or selling whale parts; as such it is governed by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and its Australian equivalent.

Can ambergris float?

In many cases, ambergris can float in the ocean or sit on a beach for years before being picked up. Most ambergris is brown or grayish when discovered, though it can range from jet black and dark brown to even an off-white or cream-like tone.

Where is the best place to find whale vomit?

Most of the times it is found floating on the sea or washed up on coastlines however in some cases it is found in the abdomens of dead sperm whales too.

How much is Amber Black ambergris worth?

The ambergris has been a substance of high value due to its rarity and use in perfume business. According to latest reports, 1 kg of ambergris costs Rs 1 crore in the international market and thus smugglers have constantly targeted the whales for the substance.

How much is yellow ambergris worth?

Investigating agencies from across India who have seized ambergris in the recent past estimate its value to be somewhere between Rs 1 to 2 crores per kilogram, depending on the purity and quality. Officials say that being extremely rare contributes to its high demand and high price in the international market.

What is the biggest ambergris in the world?

Naris said the blobs weighed 220lb - or 100kg - potentially making it one of the biggest-ever finds of whale vomit. He also told local media that he's been contacted by a keen businessman who is willing to fork out 960,000 Thai baht (£23,740) per kilo if the ambergris is high quality.

Is whale vomit illegal in the US?

In the United States, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 made it illegal to sell or possess ambergris.

Is ambergris legal in the US?

United States – The possession and trade of ambergris is prohibited by the Endangered Species Act of 1973. India – Sale or possession is illegal under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

How much is ambergris whale vomit?

They could earn up to 10.8 million baht if the 7.5-kilogram chunk of grey-coloured substance proves to be ambergris, also known as whale gold. The substance, which is regurgitated by sperm whales, sells for up to $40,000 (1.4 million baht) per kilo.

Is ambergris only from sperm whales?

Ambergris is a solid, waxy material produced in the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and also in the pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps). It is however, only found in about 1-5% of these whales, so is not a common substance.

Can I sell ambergris I found on beach?

Ambergris is created when secretions form around squid beaks and cuttlefish parts in the intestinal tract of a whale. You may not collect, keep, or sell ambergris because it is a part from an endangered marine mammal.

Can I sell ambergris that I found?

The Sperm Whale is protected under Schedule II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and therefore, it is illegal to sell, transfer, possess or trade in ambergris in India. Globally, Sperm Whales are listed in Appendix I of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Does ambergris smell fishy?

They can be covered with a soft white layer that looks a bit like cotton wool. They may appear hard or waxy, and sometimes have objects trapped within. And a smell that has been described as “a cross between squid and farmyard manure”.

How much is 1 lb of ambergris?

For well over a thousand years, ambergris, a key component in classic perfumery, has been called such things as the “universal cordial,” “the dearest and most valuable commodity in France,” and “the odor of sanctity.” It is highly prized, and highly priced—the current going rate for ambergris is around $10,000 per ...

Where is most ambergris found?

Ambergris can be found pretty much anywhere with a coastline, including Scotland. The substance can spend many months floating in the sea so, depending on the ocean currents, a fortune could wash up on your local beach today.


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