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UK couple find $70,000 lump of 'whale vomit' on beach

By Daniel Uria
UK couple find $70,000 lump of 'whale vomit' on beach
A UK couple found a large lump of whale vomit valued at about $70,000 while walking along Morecambe Bay in Lancashire in northwest England. Gary and Angela Williams are in negotiations with buyers from France and New Zealand, as the substance is often used by perfumers who use it to make scents last longer. Photo courtesy of Peter Kaminski/Flickr

LANCASHIRE, England, April 14 (UPI) -- A couple in the UK are in negotiations wth several buyers after finding a valuable lump of whale vomit, or ambergris, on a local beach.

Gary and Angela Williams found the nearly 3-pound lump by tracking its distinct smell while walking on a beach near Morecambe Bay in Lancashire.

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"It was down a section of the beach where no one really walks," Gary Williams said. "It smells too bad, though. It's a very distinctive smell, like a cross between squid and farmyard manure."

Ambergris can sell for high prices to perfumers, who use the rare substance to make scent last longer.

The Williams' lump has an estimated value of more than $70,000 and has drawn interest from buyers in France and New Zealand.

"If it is worth a lot of money, it will go a long way towards buying us a static caravan. It would be a dream come true," Williams said.

Ambergris is not traditionally harvested from dead whales. Its sale is banned in countries such as the United States and Australia due to laws against exploiting whales.

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