Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches

One Shell of a Find!

  • Like us on Facebook!

  • Come Join Us! Treasure Hunters

  • Copyright Notice

    The contents of this site are copyright Beach Treasures And Treasure and may not be copied or used without written permission from the Beach Treasures And Treasure Beaches staff. The posts may be quoted in part, so long as credit is given where it is due and so long as you link the quote back to this page. Thank you kindly for your cooperation and for your interest in our passion for beaches.
    ©2011-2020 Beach Treasures And Treasure
    All Rights Reserved.

  • Disclaimer

    Links to third-party websites are provided as a convenience to users; Beach Treasures And Treasure does not control or endorse their content.

Have you heard the one about… Floating Gold?

Posted by Jody on February 4, 2013

Ambergris (photo by Peter Kaminski from Wikimedia Commons)

Ambergris (photo by Peter Kaminski from Wikimedia Commons)

We’ve made some wonderful acquaintances here at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches. Recently, one of our favorite blogging friends, Wingclipped, at The Coastal Path shared a link with us that was quite intriguing! It seems that a Mr. Ken Wilman and his curious canine companion Madge were walking along a Lancashire beach in the North of England one day when they happened across a very smelly beach treasure on the sand. After a bit of google searching, Mr. Wilman discovered that their rock-like “floating gold” might be worth over $136,000 USD!

Wingclipped sent along this video link (which sadly refuses to be dis-embedded from the Sky News website, and therefore can not be directly posted here.  Go ahead and click the link below to see the video!).

FYI: What Ken and Madge actually found is a lump of ambergris. According to ambergris is “a waxy substance found floating in or on the shores of tropical waters, believed to originate in the intestines of the sperm whale, and used in perfumery as a fixative.”

Score one (a really big one) for beachcombers everywhere!

~ Sending along very special thanks to Wingclipped for sharing such a fun beachcombing story. You too can follow the family travels and antics of Wingclipped, his lovely wife, and their energetic twins as they explore the coast of Britain on foot at his blog The Coastal Path. His most recent entry is entitled “40d – Entering Dungeness” (Britain’s only desert and “Europe’s largest stretch of shingle landscape”). This week’s post comes complete with a heartwarming twist!


14 Responses to “Have you heard the one about… Floating Gold?”

  1. Thank you for your kind words! I was listening to Radio 4 the other day where an expert was talking about it. He said that ambergris is rare due to the decline in sperm whale numbers. Further, not all sperm whales will necessarily produce it. He said it is a coating produced in the whales’ stomachs to protect them from the sharp beaks of the squid they feed on. Finally, he said that more often than not it was not vomited out of the whale (as has been widely reported) but is actually pooped out. Whether or not that is an important distinction I do not know, but facts should be reported correctly I always think…

  2. kiwiskan said

    I always keep an eye out for that on the beach. Found some when I was a kid but too young to realise what it was and left it there

    • Jody said

      How exciting! I’ve never heard of ambergris before (that I can recall). Growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan, we didn’t find anything so grand!

  3. What an interesting and amazing find. 🙂

  4. …read the instructions carefully my beach-combing compatriots… my good friend Dee is in the habit of dragging “ambergris” back to the beach house for closer inspection… only to find that it is not what she hoped, but something just as disgusting and equally as smelly…. twice it has been lumps of animal fat and what the other stuff was, we will never know (thank god) but can now identify at a distance and avoid!….
    Happy hunting!

  5. I’m mighty pleased to learn which end of the whale this stuff emerges from… “O! the difference to me”, as Wordsworth elegantly put it.

  6. nutsfortreasure said

    we love gold in all forms lol

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: