whale vomitA nosy dog with a penchant for stinky prizes has netted a truly worthy, if rather disgusting prize that’s going to be quite a pay day for her owner.

When Ken Willman took his little pooch, Madge, for a walk along the beach in northern England, he didn’t think too much when Madge went along doing her normal doggy job of sniffing and nosing. Little did he realize what she’d found when she discovered what resembled a smelly rock. Knocking it away, he broke off a chunk but became curious off and went home and did a little nosing around himself, on the internet.

“She wouldn’t leave it alone. I picked it up and it smelt horrible so I knocked it with my walking stick and a small lump came off. I put both pieces back on the beach but something in the back of my mind told me it might be something unusual.”

What he found that Madge had discovered was, to put it bluntly, whale vomit or technically, sperm whale secretion.  This smelly, yellow, waxy digestive byproduct is better know as ambergris, rather uncommon and highly prized for its use in perfumes, spices, and medicines and it’ll bring quite a nice sum on the market.

Mr. Willman went back to the beach to collect his prize for which he’s been offered up to $68,000!

“It’s a waxy, yellow-gray piece of flotsam. I’m sure that 95 percent of people would walk past it without further thought,” said Callum Roberts, a professor of marine conservation at the University of York, in a telephone interview. He praised Wilman’s quick thinking, invoking the scientific dictum that “fortune favors the prepared mind.”

Mr. Willman had his own spin on the lucky find, giving credit to ‘man’s best friend”, in this case, his own Madge, “If your dog pays an interest in something, YOU pay an interest in something. Because you never know. There’s gold out there on that beach _ floating gold.”

Bet there’s a nice steak in Madge’s future!  Good girl, Maggie!

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