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A poor litter collector in the south of Thailand hopes that something he found on a beach will mean an end to his family’s financial hardship.
It’s a two and a half kilogram lump of yellow whale vomit. More accurately known as ambergris the much valued substance is formed in the digestive system of sperm whales. It has been used in the perfume industry to prolong fragrances.
Lumps of the substance can fetch millions of baht. Somsak found it while cleaning up on a bay on Turatao Island in Satun. He hopes to buy a new boat with the money – the last one got damaged in a storm causing him and his family to be desperately poor. All the villagers said it was genuine “Uak wan” – Whale vomit. He told Sanook that he’d be willing to pay a middle man a percentage if they could help get him a good price for his hopefully valuable find.