Here's a tip for the penniless: next time you're taking a leisurely stroll down the beach, start combing the sand for a stinking lump of whale matter known as ambergris. It might smell like rotting fish and feel like wax, but it's extremely rare and valuable to the rolling-in-cash perfume industry.
This is the situation Gary and Angela Williams found themselves in earlier this week. And lucky for them, the smell and weird texture of the whale throw-up was no deterrent. After stumbling upon the 1.57kg mass, the wrapped it in a scarf and took it home and are currently waiting to see how much money it will fetch. If you're confused as to why and how they knew it was so valuable - the couple had read about the substance in a newspaper just the week before. Who knew?
"It's a very distinctive smell, like a cross between squid and farmyard manure," Gary explained to The Mirror. "It feels like a rock hard rubber ball. Its texture is like wax, like a candle." Ambergris is secreted from the intestines of sperm whale and is used by perfumers to make a fragrance last longer. Apparently it takes years to form, hence its rarity and high value. A 2.7kg lump of ambergris was found in Morecambe and was valued at £120,000 (AUD$228,580).
The couple are hoping to use the money to buy themselves a "static caravan" - bless.