Home / News / India /  Kerala: Fishermen hand over whale vomit worth 28 crore to authorities. Details here
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Group of fisher-folks in Kerala had reportedly found Ambergris or Whale Vomit worth 28 crore from Vizhinjam and handed it over to the local authorities. This has earned them praise all over after the story went viral. 

The fisher-folks found the ambergris weighing 28.400 kg in the sea and brought it to shore on Friday evening and handed it over to the coastal police. "They handed us over the ambergris. We informed the Forest department and they received it from us," Coastal police told news agency PTI on Saturday.

The Forest department has taken the ambergris to Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) in the city to confirm it. Sources said one kg of ambergris, which is used to make perfumes, costs around one crore in the international market. However, the sale is prohibited by law in India, as the sperm whale is an endangered species that is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.

What is Ambergris or Whale Vomit?

Ambergris is often described as one of the world's strangest natural occurrences. It is produced by sperm whales.

Sperm whales eat large quantities of cephalopods such as squid and cuttlefish. In most cases the indigestible elements of their prey, such as the beaks and pens, are vomited out before digestion.

Ambergris, a solid waxy substance originating in the intestine of the sperm whale (Physeter catodon). In Eastern cultures ambergris is used for medicines and potions and as a spice; in the West it was used to stabilize the scent of fine perfumes.

There are conflicting opinions as to how ambergris emerges from the whale. Some believe that the whale regurgitates the mass, earning it its well-known nickname 'whale vomit'.

The sperm whale or cachalot is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator. It is the only living member of the genus Physeter and one of three extant species in the sperm whale family, along with the pygmy sperm whale and dwarf sperm whale of the genus Kogia.

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