Thai fisherman finds two large lumps of ambergris worth up to £240k which scientists confirm is real


A lucky Thai fisherman found two huge lumps of ambergris whale vomit – which officials confirmed were real.

Asaree Pooad, 24, cut short his fishing trip with his father due to monsoon rains in Satun province, Thailand on March 2.

The father and son were downhearted as they returned back to shore empty-handed. However, they noticed two strange chunks floating in the shallow part of the water.

The young son took home the lumps with his father thinking that they could be the sought-after whale vomit that they had seen on television.

One of the chunks weighed 7kg while the other was smaller weighing only 600 grams.

However, both lumps combined could be worth up to 242,000 GBP based on quality and previous prices after researchers at the region’s Prince of Songkhla University checked the ambergris and issued certificates of authenticity.

Asaree said they are now open to offers in case someone is interested to buy the lumps from them as well as re-examining the lumps to prove they were real.

He said: ‘When we found them, we had to go home early because of the storm but we ended up finding these treasures.

‘The university confirmed they are real but I am willing to have them tested to again to prove it, if someone is interested in buying them.’

To check if the lumps were really ambergris, they sent samples to the Prince of Songkhla University so researchers could inspect them.

The family was delighted when the result came back positive and was even given a certificate saying that the lumps were whale vomit.

They are now searching for agents that buy ambergris for supplying to perfume manufacturers.

Asaree added: ‘The university said we may find an international buyer for the ambergris. Until then, we will keep it at home and not rush to sell it.’

Satun province where the asset was found is in the deep south of Thailand and has a coastline with the Andaman Sea and the Malacca Strait leading to Malaysia.

Ambergris is produced by sperm whales when bile ducts in the gastrointestinal tract make secretions to ease the passage of large or sharp objects. The whale then vomits the mucilage which solidifies and floats on the surface of the ocean.

The solid chunk has a foul smell at first but after the mucilage dries out, it develops a sweet and long-lasting fragrance, which makes it a sought-after ingredient in the perfume industry.

In April 2016, a 1.57-kilogram ambergris ball found in Lancashire sold for GBP 50,000 while in November of the same year, three Omani fishermen found 80 kilograms of ambergris and sold it for USD three million.

The previous sale price from the UK gives Ambergris a value of around 31.85 GBP per gram. The weight of the recent find in Thailand – 7,600 grams – would give an price of around 242,000 GBP.