The large chunk could be ambergris, sperm whale vomit that eventually develops into a sweet-smelling substance used in perfumes

By Georgia Slater
November 14, 2019 01:30 PM
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A penniless rubbish collector is hoping a lump of yellow wax he found on a beach is valuable whale vomit. Somsak Boonrith, 45, stumbled on the yellow chunk while he was sifting through trash on Tarutao island is Satun, southern Thailand last Sunday (10/11) afternoon.
Credit: Viral Press

As the saying goes — one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

When Thailand garbage collector, Somsak Boonrith, discovered an odd-looking piece of trash, he quickly realized that it could be much more valuable than it appeared.

On Sunday, Boonrith uncovered a large, yellow, wax-like mound on Tarutao Island in Satun, Thailand, which he believes could be ambergris — a foul stomach mixture that comes from sperm whales but later develops a sought-after smell used in many perfumes.

The lump weighed nearly five pounds, which Boonrith thinks could be worth around £80,000, or roughly $102,768, Daily Mail reported.

According to the Natural History Museum, ambergris has been called the treasure of the sea and floating gold for it’s unique and costly uses, however, it is most commonly known as “whale vomit” as many believe that “the whale regurgitates the mass.”

A penniless rubbish collector is hoping a lump of yellow wax he found on a beach is valuable whale vomit. Somsak Boonrith, 45, stumbled on the yellow chunk while he was sifting through trash on Tarutao island is Satun, southern Thailand last Sunday (10/11) afternoon.
Credit: Viral Press

When first vomited, the substance has a foul smell and floats at the surface at the ocean. After drying out, however, the smell becomes more sweet and long-lasting, which is why it is a common ingredient in perfumes.

A penniless rubbish collector is hoping a lump of yellow wax he found on a beach is valuable whale vomit. Somsak Boonrith, 45, stumbled on the yellow chunk while he was sifting through trash on Tarutao island is Satun, southern Thailand last Sunday (10/11) afternoon.
Credit: Viral Press

Although Boonrith is not completely certain that the chunk is ambergris, his fingers are crossed as he hopes to sell the piece so he can quit his job as a “rag picker” and have more money for his family.

“I used to be a fisherman but a storm destroyed my boat. Now I wander along the beach looking through rubbish trying to find valuable things,” he told the Daily Mail.

A penniless rubbish collector is hoping a lump of yellow wax he found on a beach is valuable whale vomit. Somsak Boonrith, 45, stumbled on the yellow chunk while he was sifting through trash on Tarutao island is Satun, southern Thailand last Sunday (10/11) afternoon.
Credit: Viral Press

Adding, “I am willing to sell the chunk of whale vomit and buy a new boat to revive my career as a fisherman, because the earnings from rag picking was not enough to feed my family.’

According to the outlet, local government officials will find Boonrith later this month to determine if the mass is, in fact, ambergris and to figure out how much the lump may be worth.