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   Undertoad  Friday Dec 22 11:01 AM

December 22, 2006: Ambergris



Katkeeper sends along this item which was highlighted in a NY Times story. What the lady there is holding is, apparently, ambergris -- a waxy substance whales will occasionally puke up or crap out, or which is found in their gut when they're killed.

Ms. Ferreira, shown above, was given this chunk by her sister. They are not sure that it is actually Ambergris. If it is, the blob will be worth $18,000, the story suggests. It's valuable because it's used in some of the most expensive product on the earth by weight: perfume. Apparently it can "fix" the scent of a perfume, allowing it to linger longer instead of evaporating.

Scientists think whales produce this stuff when they swallow sharp objects. They coat the objects with it so their insides aren't hurt. Like grit to an oyster's pearl, I suppose.



Flint  Friday Dec 22 11:03 AM

So, somewhere, evil perfume scientists are feeding razor blades to caged whales?



Sundae  Friday Dec 22 11:10 AM

Her sister hates her. It's years of hardened pickings from the underside of her couch.



LabRat  Friday Dec 22 11:13 AM

Blech SG. Seriously, ugh.



bigw00dy  Friday Dec 22 11:26 AM

I can envision an expensive game of Fear Factor.



Shawnee123  Friday Dec 22 11:37 AM

I think the aliens came early.



wolf  Friday Dec 22 11:39 AM

That's just snot. Hey, Waitaminnit ... IT'S FRIDAY. Although an animal may be peripherally involved, that is neither cute, nor furry, nor both.



Undertoad  Friday Dec 22 11:41 AM

Aw crap! The holiday season threw me off.



CaliforniaMama  Friday Dec 22 11:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf
That's just snot. Hey, Waitaminnit ... IT'S FRIDAY. Although an animal may be peripherally involved, that is neither cute, nor furry, nor both.
Nor edible . . . I hope.


Griff  Friday Dec 22 11:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
Aw crap! The holiday season threw me off.
That's strike one.


astearns  Friday Dec 22 02:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaMama
Nor edible . . . I hope.
"Eggs and ambergris was Charles II's favorite dish," observed Martin...

from p94 of Patrick O'Brien's "The Far Side of the World" which I happened to be reading this morning.


Elspode  Friday Dec 22 02:19 PM

Ick. Further proof that being royalty will make you whacky.



footfootfoot  Friday Dec 22 02:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae Girl
Her sister hates her. It's years of hardened pickings from the underside of her couch.
Why else would she be holding it at arms length?


xoxoxoBruce  Friday Dec 22 04:47 PM

Quote:
If it really does have value, Im not silly, of course Id want to sell it, Ms. Ferreira said as she looked out past her lace curtains and picket fence at the whitecaps on the bay. This could be my retirement.
Quote:
But endangered species legislation has made buying or selling the stuff illegal since the 1970s; a couple who found a large lump of ambergris valued at almost $300,000 on an Australian beach in January has had legal problems selling it.
Well, it seems to me, if it's illegal to sell, it could be her retirement.......at least free room and board.


CaliforniaMama  Saturday Dec 23 02:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by astearns
"Eggs and ambergris was Charles II's favorite dish," observed Martin...

from p94 of Patrick O'Brien's "The Far Side of the World" which I happened to be reading this morning.



CaliforniaMama  Saturday Dec 23 02:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
If it really does have value, Im not silly, of course Id want to sell it, Ms. Ferreira said as she looked out past her lace curtains and picket fence at the whitecaps on the bay. This could be my retirement.
Gotta love those Portuguese. Pragmatic and bizarre all at the same time.

And this thing about WHALES!

My aunt gives me this video of her trip to the Azores. The whole thing is watching a whale get slaughtered. Oh, yeah, just the kind of travel video I'd watch over and over. NOT.


rkzenrage  Saturday Dec 23 02:31 AM

I wanna' lick it.



SPUCK  Saturday Dec 23 06:30 AM

More like:



Guess  Wednesday Dec 27 12:16 AM

i think i remember this stuff being described in detail in moby dick, a book i had to suffer through for summer reading



rkzenrage  Wednesday Dec 27 03:35 AM

I have read it, about, five times and it gets better every time.
I almost had a second ed. but it was purchased out from under me a day before I could get it.



mitheral  Saturday Dec 30 02:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot
Why else would she be holding it at arms length?
In it's natural state it stinks to high heaven.


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