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Whale Vomit Starts “Gold Rush” in New Zealand

Only in New Zealand would you have a “Gold Rush” over whale vomit:

A LARGE chunk of something unpleasant has washed up on a New Zealand beach, and the locals are excited.

Some say the “disgusting” squarish white block, the size of a 44-gallon drum, is cheese – possibly brie, while others believe it is ambergris, or whale vomit.

And that has solved the problem for council workers who were wondering how to remove the 500kg mystery object that washed up on a beach in Wellington.

The lump washed up at Breaker Bay at the weekend and once word got out that it could be valuable ambergris – an excretion from whales that is used to make perfume – locals pillaged it, the New Zealand Press Associationr reported.

Ambergris can sell for thousands of dollars per kilogram and Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said it was like “some sort of bizarre gold rush” on the beach yesterday.

“We went out there this morning and there were people sort of lunging at it with spades and sharp implements trying to chop pieces off so they could make off with it and make their fortunes,” he said.  [News.com]

So who knew whale vomit could be made into perfume much less you can make thousands of dollars from it?

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