Supplement Your Income With Whale Poop!

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The sperm whale is a mighty animal. It is the proud owner of the largest head in the animal kingdom, as approximately one third of its length is head. It is able to dive to depths of 10,000 feet in search of the giant squid on which it loves to munch, and it produces some of the most expensive poop on the planet. This poop is called Ambergris, and is actually a byproduct of its squid meals.

When the whale dines on squid, it is unable to digest the squids' beaks, and they make their way through its digestive system to the intestines where, in about one percent of whales, they create a sort of rectal block. This can be fatal in some cases but usually is passed by the whale, presumably with a bit of pain, as the mass can be quite large.

In days of yore ambergris was in plentiful supply because of the booming world-wide hunting of whales by the oil industry. Today the supply is limited to the occasional chunk that washes ashore and is correctly identified. Now you might ask: What the hell does one do with whale poop that makes it so valuable? Wonder no more! It is worth its weight in gold to the perfume industry.

Experienced ambergris hunters who stalk the beaches looking for ways to augment their incomes with a bit of poop say that ambergris can easily be identified by its aroma which has been likened to fine tobacco, the wood in old churches, sandalwood, fresh earth, fresh seaweed, cow dung, Brazil nuts, newly mowed hay, and the faintest possible perfume of the violet. Personally I would have guessed, considering their diet, that their dung would smell like what a hobo might leave behind a Captain D's dumpster after polishing off a few left overs that were missing only a few bites, and with only the faintest tinge of green setting in.

Current prices for ambergris range from $10.00 to $20.00 per gram. As I'm sure you all remember from your pot experimentation days there are 453 grams in a pound, so a two-pound chunk of whale shit could bring you over $18,000. Now that's some good shit in anyone's book!

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10 Comments on "Supplement Your Income With Whale Poop!"

the thin brown line's picture
j 1000+ points

They are such beautiful creatures.
A few years ago, there were two blue whales that had washed ashore in Southern California (they migrate every year). Me, my girlfriend at the time and her daughter went to see the remains at Faria Beach, which is on the north outskirts of Ventura, California. Workers were dis-assembling the 70+ foot carcass. As the bones were making their way onto a truck, the pungency permeating around the carcass was intense. People were throwing up everywhere. It was humbling to witness such an immense creature, and even more so the stench it produced. I could smell that stench for a week after, as if the salty sea air aligned my nostrils to say, "the ocean's creatures are majestic, and this aroma will be with you a while so you won't forget"
Both blue whale deaths were attributed to Navy ships. Either being struck, or succumbing to stress do to sonar production. GO NAVY!

Somethin' mysterious made an exit from the gift shop.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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I can imagine the majestic stench that must have wafted across the beach when a creature of that magnitude was decomposing ttbl.

Imagine the shock of the shop owners and pedestrians in Taiwan a few years ago when a dead sperm whale being transported through town on a trailer exploded thanks to an internal buildup of pressure.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3437455.stm

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

the thin brown line's picture
j 1000+ points

I wonder if that sperm whale once drummed for Spinal Tap?

Somethin' mysterious made an exit from the gift shop.

Anonymous's picture

The stench went to 11 on a scale of 10.

Anonymous's picture

Blue whale deaths are always attributed to the Navy because the enviro-whackos who do whale autopsies hate the Navy and want ships banned from the Santa Barbara Channel. Don't believe everything you hear about wildlife deaths. Sometimes, they just die.

CEP

Anonymous's picture

I will be watching for your puny little fishing boat CEP!

Your nemesis and soon to be worst nightmare,

Moby Dick

the thin brown line's picture
j 1000+ points

CEP, you of all people should know about those whale deaths. They happened in your hood for crissakes. Do I have to dig up the articles from 2009 that raised concerns that the Navy has admitted to? Yes, whales do just die, but there is a brutal history of ships and whale interaction. And if I recall correctly, the Navy did agree to sonar concessions (reductions, migration area restrictions). I'm not going to deride you, but the concerns on both sides (marine biologists and military) have been well documented and continue to be an issue. Your name calling is infantile, as it always is, and in this case, extending it to whale scientists that do autopsies. Be fair.

Somethin' mysterious made an exit from the gift shop.

prarie doggin's picture
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I was once jumping from rock to rock on a California beach when I landed on what I thought was a big rock. That is until my legs went right through the "rock" almost up to my knees. You guessed it, a rotting baby whale. I was so grossed out, I couldn't eat for about 20 minutes.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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If it had been a Greenland Shark (Google Icelandic Hákarl) you could have started munching right away.

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

prarie doggin's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorg 4000+ points

Chief, how dare you suggest eating right away. My favorite sneakers were ruined. Have some compassion.

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