You Want to Buy Whale What?

I must disclose that this article is as much an advertorial as an informative piece of journalism. That is because I want to be your Exclusive East End Broker. Mr. Sneiv has the research and the contacts to make your experience delightful.

Don’t get confused and think that I am challenging the many talented real estate professionals in our fine community. No, I want to be your Exclusive Whale Vomit Broker.

Whale Vomit, also known as ambergris, is very valuable.

Who would pay tens of thousands of dollars for whale vomit? The perfume industry, of course. The substance, while foul smelling when it first hits land, becomes much more pleasant as it dries in the sun—and can be used to help prolong the scent of perfume. Considering that Sag Harbor was a well-known whaling village, I am surprised that most people have never even heard of ambergris.

Ambergris occurs as a biliary secretion of the intestines of the sperm whale and can be found floating upon the sea, or in the sand near the coast. It’s also sometimes found in the abdomens of whales. It forms a mass too large to be passed through the intestines and is expelled via the whales’ mouth, leading to the reputation of ambergris as primarily coming from whale vomit.

According to the BBC, recently Ken Wilman’s dog began sniffing the substance while walking on Morecambe beach in England. Wilman went to investigate, picked up the stone-like object, gave it a whiff and then dropped it like a bad habit. Wilman left the beach, but something about his stinky discovery stayed in his mind. He did a little research at home and figured out that it was likely ambergris. He then went back to the beach and retrieved the seven-pound object. A French dealer has already offered more than $50,000.

Last year, an 8-year-old boy found a one-pound piece of ambergris that was expected to bring in up to $63,000. And in 2006, a man in South Australia found a whopping 32.5-pound piece of ambergris. Estimated value: $300,000.

The East End has plenty of sperm whales passing by and who knows how many of them might need to vomit. Ambergris can be found in the Atlantic Ocean and on the coasts of Brazil, Madagascar, the East Indies, the Maldives, China, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand and the Molucca Islands.

So why not make your next trip to the beach profitable? With this information available, I believe all those who walk the beaches of the East End should be on the lookout for such a find. Once you believe you have found the stinky treasure, secure it in a plastic bag and deliver it to the offices of Dan’s Papers. They will contact Mr. Sneiv and I can begin the process of getting you the best wholesale price on whale vomit that you have ever seen, less my standard 33% brokerage fee.

My name is Mr. Sneiv. I live on the East End and I want to be your Exclusive Whale Vomit Broker.

Ambergris in a bowl
Ambergris, photo by Peter Kaminski

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