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[quote]
Wow. Its amazing what goes on in the world that you know absolutely nothing about. For example, whale vomit or Ambergris.

It is formed when Sperm Whales become irritated by the beaks of squid. They then throw up this stuff that is worth......$10US / gram (but much higher for better quality).

Anyway, as many will know a 44 gallon sized drum (estimate 500kg's) lump of 'unidentified gunk' has floated ashore down by Wellington. Who cares if it is or is not the stuff (ie it is all conjecture at the moment). It is interesting to do the calculation of the value of this stuff for a substance I have never even heard of. I will be sure to look harded on the beach in the future (apparantly NZ beaches are very good for its discovery)

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10533498

According to wikiperdia the stuff is worth $10US /
gram.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambergris

500KG's, ie 500 0000 grams @$10 / gm = $5 million US.

For the standard grade.

I hope it is this stuff (used to make perfume).

It would be classic for a lump of smelly gunk to be worth $5m. Bet the geezer who found it will be pissed. As will every local who has gone to look at it.

Amazing as well, that until this moment, I had never ever heard of the stuff. A definite 'specialty' Trivial Pursuit or the like question.
[quote]
I had heard of it Cool

But fked if I could remember what it was called.

The object found is probably fat that was in a barrel and over time the barrel disintegrated/split open and the contents washed up on shore.

Breakfast reporter this morning speculated it was 'brie'

Brie? You fucking moron! Laughing Laughing Laughing
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really? I thought it was pretty standard knowledge
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In Japan whale vomit thickshakes are a delicacy.
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Definitely have never heard of it. In conversations with others though I reckon 2/5 people have heard of it.

I will definitely have to have a scout on the beach one of these days. There are buyers in NZ such as this website

http://www.ambergris.co.nz/
http://www.ambergris.co.nz/identification.htm

This test shows what it is.

Hot needle test:
1. Heat a needle and touch briefly to the surface of the item
2. If ambergris, the surface will melt instantly; turning to an oily, molten black residue and a small puff of musky smelling smoke will be emitted.

Pretty classic when you think about it.
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Fuck yeah, hot knive that shit.
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The_Dude said:
the surface will melt instantly; turning to an oily, molten black residue and a small puff of musky smelling smoke will be emitted.


Sounds like weed oil au!
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I think one of the greatest mysteries is how people figured out that some gunk a whale barfed up would be great for fragrances.
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biff said:
I think one of the greatest mysteries is how people figured out that some gunk a whale barfed up would be great for fragrances.

Probably by using their noses. Not much of a mystery. People obviously smelt it and thought "hey, this smells nice".
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Oh, and I had a chuckle watching the news with all those people going and taking away chunks of that stuff on the beach. Then the expert dude saying it looks nothing like the valuable whale vomit. Wrong colour etc. It's probably some waste crap thats come off a ship.
[quote]
harvey said:
biff said:
I think one of the greatest mysteries is how people figured out that some gunk a whale barfed up would be great for fragrances.

Probably by using their noses. Not much of a mystery. People obviously smelt it and thought "hey, this smells nice".



Are you sure of that? I assumed it smelt foul until rendered or put through some chemical process.
[quote]
' When initially expelled by or removed from the whale, the fatty precursor of ambergris is pale white in color (sometimes streaked with black), soft in consistency, with a strong fecal smell. Following months to years of photo-degradation and oxidation in the ocean, this precursor gradually hardens, developing a dark gray or black color, a crusty and waxy texture, and a peculiar odor that is at once sweet, earthy, marine, and animalic. Its smell has been described by many as a vastly richer and smoother version of isopropanol without its stinging harshness. '

- wiki

I mean its used as a 'fixative' to preserve the scent of fragrance. Dont think its primary use has ever been the actual note of the fragrance itself.
[quote]
biff said:
harvey said:
biff said:
I think one of the greatest mysteries is how people figured out that some gunk a whale barfed up would be great for fragrances.

Probably by using their noses. Not much of a mystery. People obviously smelt it and thought "hey, this smells nice".



Are you sure of that? I assumed it smelt foul until rendered or put through some chemical process.

Going by what the dude on the news said and by the wikipedia entry mentioned. Yes.

wikipedia said:
Following months to years of photo-degradation and oxidation in the ocean, this precursor gradually hardens, developing a dark gray or black color, a crusty and waxy texture, and a peculiar odor that is at once sweet, earthy, marine, and animalic. Its smell has been described by many as a vastly richer and smoother version of isopropanol without its stinging harshness.


It also indicates it's been used for a very very long time for it's fragrance.
[quote]
harvey said:
Oh, and I had a chuckle watching the news with all those people going and taking away chunks of that stuff on the beach. Then the expert dude saying it looks nothing like the valuable whale vomit. Wrong colour etc. It's probably some waste crap thats come off a ship.

Yeah that was classic huh - especially after that silly bint had stood there and said she'd been hunting it for a while and was certain this was ambergris Laughing
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Actually, the majority of ambergris is pooped out, only the clumps too larger to pass rectally are vomited. When first discharged and for the next several years it smells exactly like what it is - fecal matter. I've read that after aging for several years, it mellows into what people generally associate it to be. Now, to each his own, but I don't care how long it's aged, I'm not going to put whale shit on my eggs.
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What an odd thread to post your first post to Laughing

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How did he dredge it up?
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We had a sperm whale wash up at Pakiri a couple of years ago, it looked like a fucking alien after the sharks had munched on it.
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