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Thai man could get $4.2 million USD for whale vomit known as “floating gold”

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Thairath

NOTE: Readers with a sensitive stomach are advised not to eat while reading this article.

Floating gold… sounds mystical. Actually, it’s just hardened whale vomit known as the more elegant name “ambergris.” It’s a rare find that can cost thousands of US dollars. Recently, a man in the southern province Nakhon Si Thammarat found what might be the world’s largest chunk of whale vomit estimated to be worth around $4.2 million USD.

Ambergris is a waxy substance formed from a secretion of bile duct in the intestines of sperm whales. While some say it’s whale vomit, some argue that it’s passed like fecal matter.

Why is whale vomit so expensive? Perfume. It’s used as a fixative in perfume to allow the scent to last longer.

60 year old Naris Suwannasang says he came across several pale-coloured rocks while walking on a Nakhon Si Thammarat beach. He took them home and examined them, noticing they resembled ambergris. Naris tested it by burning the surface using a lighter. It melted instantly and gave off a musky smell, a sign that it could be ambergris. If the rock certified Grade A ambergris, Naris is about to become a very, very rich man.

The chunk he found weighs about 100 kilograms. A businessman already offered 960,000 baht per kilogram if the rock turns out to be high quality ambergris. He’s waiting for a specialist to confirm.

“The businessman told me that he will come to check the quality of the ambergris later and the price shocked me… I want to know more about this ambergris and want the specialist to inspect them.”

SOURCE: Daily Mail


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  1. Avatar


    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    All world tourists or ambergris hunters will flock and overcrowd now quiet and beatiful islands and beaches in Thailand. I bet the second largest piece will be found in a Chiang Rai mountain.

  2. Avatar


    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    I’m surprised the government has not claimed it yet

    • Avatar

      John J Up Chuck

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 7:14 am

      Oh, but they have! Up.chuk is still in committee deciding whether to make it a fine for puking in a public place or a fine for illegally cleaning up puke without a license. Then on to the tax for possession of unlicensed puke!
      Luckily the man is Thai, otherwise the person finding it would have been arrested for robbing Thailand of its heritage puke blob.

  3. Avatar


    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    I aam amazed how a simple Thai man knew what such a rare thing this was, yes take it home and examine it ask friends if they knew, but to knew what it is was beyond belief.

    • Avatar

      Christian Casablanca

      Monday, December 14, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      I’ll bet that this “simple” Thai man can name a thousand things on the beach that you cannot.

  4. Avatar


    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 6:42 pm


  5. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 5:11 am

    I wonder if the ladies know they are spraying whale vomit on their skin.

  6. Avatar

    James Pate

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 5:24 am

    I remember looking up this word “ambergris” in the library when I was a boy when forced to read Moby Dick. Not many countries into whaling anymore, except Japan and some of the Nordic countries. Some guys have all the luck. I hope it turns out to be very good quality and Mr. Naris gets every satang coming to him. I wonder which perfume brands still use this stuff? I’m also curious about this businessman so quick to make him a tentative offer! I wonder if someone will run out and dump laxatives in the ocean in hopes of getting rich quick!???

  7. Avatar

    Slim Yee

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 7:22 am

    Best thing about this story is telling the wife that her expensive perfume is just whale vomit! Her reply was, way too much information! Ha ha!

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm

      Yeah, my wife was grossed out too!???♥️ I’m still curious about which brands still use the real thing. Most switched to a synthetic product many years ago. As I understand it, a whale can pass this substance from either end. I bet the French still use the real s***! ???

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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