Gary and Angela Williams, who live in Overton, Lancashire, were walking along Middleton Sands beach, close to Morecambe Bay, when they smelled rotten fish. They followed the smell until they found a strange-looking “rock” that looked like a piece of ambergris, also called “whale vomit,” which is used to make perfume.
After reading about the highly sought-after material in a newspaper, the couple wrapped the big lump in a scarf and brought it home.
Gary, who is 48 years old, put the lump on his fishing scales and found that it weighed 1.57kg. This is about half the size of a rock that was found near Morecambe several years ago. The last piece of “whale vomit” was worth a shocking £120,000 in 2013.
Gary and Angela, a nurse who is 49 years old, are currently talking to potential buyers about the lump that was recently found. The stone is about the size of a rugby ball, but not quite. Ambergris is made from the hardened sludge in a sperm whale’s gut. It is called “floating gold” because it is hard to find and very valuable to perfume makers.
It takes years for the substance to form, and people think it protects the animal from the sharp, hard things it eats. It can float in the ocean for a long time before it ends up on land. It turns into a smooth, grey, hard rock after being in the sun and salt water for a long time.
The thing that Gary, an engineer, and his wife found was “a bit of a shock.” He said it was on a part of the beach where not many people walked. “Even though it smells awful, it has a very clear smell that is kind of like a mix of farm manure and squid. “It feels like a really tough rubber ball. It feels slick, like a candle.
“When you touch wax, it sticks to your hands.” He also said, “If it is valuable, it will help us buy a static caravan in a big way if it is.” That’s a dream come true.”
When Gary and Angela go for walks, they often look for interesting things on the beach. They found the 1.57 kg of ambergris on Sunday and have kept it in a safe place while they talk to two experts, one in France and one in New Zealand.
The 2.7 kg piece that washed up in Morecambe in 2013 was worth as much as £120,000, according to experts. A 1.1 kg piece found on a beach near Anglesey, Wales, was sold at a sale in Macclesfield, Cheshire, last September for £11,000.