Sperm Whale Poo: "extraordinarily valuable"
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Scatology
Thank you, Discovery Channel:
Sperm whales, it is not widely known, have the largest heads in the animal kingdom. (At around six meters, (20 feet) long, a sperm whale's head constitutes roughly one-third of its entire length from tip to tail.) Sperm whales are also the deepest divers in the mammalian world, able to descend in excess of 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) in search of giant squid, subjecting themselves to pressures that would crush a human.
And, perhaps most unexpectedly of all, sperm whales also produce extraordinarily valuable poop.
Not all sperm whales produce this poop. And at least some - and perhaps most or even all - of those that do, die in the process. But the result is, to humans, little short of golden.
The poop in question is called ambergris, and it is the result of the sperm whale's digestive system doing battle with the remnants of the whale's squid prey. The squids' beaks remain undigested, and make their way through the intestines until, in about one percent of sperm whales, they congeal in an ever-growing mass of fecal matter...
It is the unique and hard-to-define smell that makes ambergris, as Herman Melville in "Moby Dick" described it, "worth a gold guinea an ounce to any druggist.
Learned something new today.
Mother of God. They make perfume out of sperm whale shit.
Mother of Poo
That's SOME turd!
I love Templeton.
What about a $300,000 turd is humble?
Radiant, I'll give you.
But humble? Not since bartenders started using ambergris in cocktails and punches...
You bring up a good point.
Man, this convo has truly gone downhill.
. . . why? Oh man, I'm going to be spending some time on this now.
Once again, the internet has answered my question without really explaining. I am satisfied.
I don't care how valuable it is; I still hope to never receive some as a gift!