UK & World News
Whale Vomit Found on Dog Walk Worth £100,000
A man whose dog found a lump of rare and valuable whale sick on a beach is expecting to be able to sell it for more than £100,000.
Ken Wilman, 50, was out walking on Morecambe beach when his dog Madge started sniffing a lump of rock.
He told Sky News: "At first I thought it was a football but as I got closer I realised it was a big stone.
"She wouldn't leave it alone. I picked it up and it smelt horrible so I knocked it with my walking stick and a small lump came off.
"I put both pieces back on the beach but something in the back of my mind told me it might be something unusual.
"I came back home and searched online. I had an inkling it was whale vomit and when I saw pictures I realised it was.
"When I read how valuable it was I got Madge straight back in the car and drove back to the beach to bring it home."
Whale vomit is also known as ambergris and is used to make perfume. It is formed in the digestive system of sperm whales and has a very strong and unpleasant aroma.
Whales excrete it through the mouth when it is too large to pass through the digestive system. Perfume makers use it as it has a smell similar to musk.
Mr Wilman said: "A company in France has offered 5,000 euros (£4,300) per 300g which would make my piece worth 50,000 euros (£43,000) but I'm told companies in Switzerland offer four times that amount."
Mr Wilman, who is a single parent and has been unemployed since a motorbike accident in 2007, said when he does sell it he will spend the money taking his 15-year-old son on a trip to Machu Picchu, in Peru.
He added: "Madge will also be getting a treat for her find by being fed her favourite sausages every day from now on!"