Whale vomit could earn £171,000 windfall for lucky Thai fisherman

A fisherman has found a lump of whale vomit that could be worth up to £171,000.

Fortunate Chalermchai Mahapan, 20, made the potentially life-changing find when he was fishing for mullet at Samila Beach in Songkhla, Thailand.

At first he thought it was just an ordinary rock but on closer inspection he was not sure some of his neighbours told him the 7kg blob could be ambergris, the secretion formed inside whales.

Ambergris has been described as "floating gold" due to its high value and is one of the most valuable raw materials in perfume.

A sample was sent off to a lab to prove the legitimacy of the discovery.

Chalermchai said: "I had no idea what this thing was until I asked the elderly villagers who informed me about ambergris.

"I feel lucky to have found it."

The fisherman is now hoping to flog it for a million Thai baht, which converts to a whopping £24,500 per kilogram.

He added: "I'm not in a hurry to sell this – an agent will find an international buyer."

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Ambergris forms from a secretion in the bile duct of a whale, and is often found floating in the sea or washed up on beaches.

Once it has dried out the substance develops a sweet, long-lasting fragrance and is often used in expensive perfumes.

Last year another Thai fisherman was even luckier as he reeled in a huge chunk of vomit that could have fetched up to a staggering £2.4million.

Penniless Naris Suwannasang made the life-changing discovery by the seaside in Nakhon Si Thammarat in the south of the country.

He said: "The businessman told me that he will come to check the quality of the ambergris and the price shocked me. I could receive around 960,000 Thai baht (£32,740) per kilogram if the ambergris I found is the best grade.

“I plan to go to the police and have them record my discovery as I fear (it) might be stolen from my house.”

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