(ConservativeInsider.org) – The Canary Islands are known for their black- and white sand beaches off the coast of Spain but recent waves have washed up notable debris in the form of a deceased sperm whale. The whale carcass washed ashore and inside the cause of death was found in addition to a valuable ambergris. The 42-foot whale was found to have the obstruction in the digestive system causing sepsis and death. The University of Las Palmas holds the discovery and hopes the sale of the precious item will fund repairs needed after recent volcanic activity.
Ambergris is described as one of the strangest natural substances found to date. It has been used for centuries in perfumery but finding it is like finding a needle in a haystack as it occurs naturally inside sperm whales. Large scale whaling in the 1800s is what aided in the discovery of its origins. Sperm whales primarily eat cephalopods such as squid and cuttlefish; typically the indigestible parts of their prey are vomited out but when they are not, they form the ambergris inside the digestive tract and grow over many years. Some experts think that the ambergris protects the whale’s internal organs from sharp squid beaks; that is until the ambergris becomes so big it causes a blockage and then proves fatal.
Some experts think that the ambergris will eventually pass through the whale as fecal matter and this may be the case as only 5% of carcasses are found to have ambergris inside them. The longer the ambergris floats in water, the more valuable it is considered. Inexplicably the ambergris comes out smelling fecal but once dried it has a musky curious smell that is still used in perfumery. The ambergris in question is valued at approximately 425,000 euros. Ambergris is considered a waste item and it is legal to collect from beach or sea in the EU. Fine perfumeries still utilize Ambergris but the item is generally not considered vegan-friendly.
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