An 8-year-old schoolboy walking on a beach in the U.K. stumbled onto what could turn out to be a fortune in whale vomit, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reports.
The boy, Charlie Naysmith, found a 1.3-pound chunk of the stuff during a walk along Hengistbury Head, near Bournemouth, the story reports. The material, which looks like a yellowish beige rock, is ambergris — whale vomit that has solidified over decades — which is used in perfumes.
The chunk of so-called “floating gold,” apparently from a sperm whale, could be worth more than $60,000, according to estimates.
“Decades of floating and exposure to sun and salt have turned the substance, technically called ambergris, into a smooth lump of compact rock which feels waxy and has a sweet smell,” the story reports. “As repulsive as it may sound, the substance is highly sought after with perfume makers as it helps prolong the scent of perfume.”
The boy’s father, Alex, said his son is “into nature.” Regarding the ambergris, he said: “We have discovered it is quite rare and are waiting for some more information from marine biology experts.”
Charlie is reportedly interested in using any money he receives from the find to help build a shelter for animals.