Father and son find whale vomit that could be worth £65k


A father and son who picked up a ”smelly rubbery” rock on the beach have put it up for sale for £65,000 – after discovering it could be super rare WHALE VOMIT.

Alan Derrick, 67, and his son Tom, 39, went for a stroll along Sand Point in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset when they spotted the grey lump.

Engineer Tom picked up the waxy ‘rock’ and keen fisherman Alan thought it looked like super valuable ‘whale poo’ he had once seen in a newspaper.

Tests at home confirmed it could be ambergris – a highly-prized but stinky substance used in the manufacture of perfume.

Retired shed fitter Alan said it is weighs 2.5lbs – around half the size of a lump also found near Morecambe which was valued at £120,000 in 2013.


They have sent samples off to experts in Italy, New Zealand and France and also put it up for sale on Ebay for £65,000 where it has already attracted interest.

Hopeful Alan from Weston-super-Mare said: “The weather was not very good on Sunday so I decided not to go fishing and go for a walk instead.

“My son said ‘I’ll come with you’ and when we were walking he came over to me and said ‘what do you think this is dad?’

“It weighs about 2.5lbs and is very dense and has a very pungent smell.

“I said ‘if that’s what I think it is then guard it with your life’. I had seen a story about something like it a few years ago.

“It smells terrible. It smells like walking into a very old damp building.”

Ambergris is hardened intestinal slurry from a sperm whale which takes years to form and which is thought to protect the animal from hard and sharp objects it eats.

It is dubbed ‘floating gold’ due to its high value to perfume makers and it is very rare.

Alan Derrick, 67, from Weston-Super-Mare, with the ambergris that he and his son Tom Derrick found whilst they were out walking (SWNS)
Alan Derrick, 67, with the ambergris that he and his son Tom Derrick found whilst they were out walking (SWNS)

It can float in the ocean for years before washing ashore and years of exposure to the sun and salt water transform it into a smooth, grey, lump of compact waxy rock.

Alan and Tom found the blob on Sunday afternoon and carried out tests they found on You Tube – including checking it was flammable.

If it proves to be the valuable substance Alan said Tom will take the cash and put it in a trust fund for his son Matthew, two.

“We’re not getting too carried away about the money,” said Alan, who plans to put the lump in a safety deposit box.

A 2.7kg lump found washed up in Morecambe in 2013 was valued by experts at up to £120,000.

A 1.1 kg piece found on a beach in Anglesey, Wales, was bought for £11,000 at an auction in Macclesfield, Cheshire last September by a French buyer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here