An ambergris worth 500K euros was found inside the carcass


A dead whale found on a beach in the Canary Islands contained approximately 500,000 euros worth of ambergris, also known as floating gold.

Worth exactly 500,000 euros

Scientists from Las Palmas University, based in the Canary Islands, revealed that the cause of death of the whale was the presence of ambergris found inside the carcass.

A group of researchers led by Professor Dr. Antonio Fernandez from the Department of Forensic Veterinary Pathology at Las Palmas University conducted an autopsy on the stranded sperm whale. During the autopsy, they discovered a rare 9.5-kilogram piece of amber within the whale. The estimated market value of this ambergris is around 500,000 euros. The scientists determined that the ambergris caused intestinal damage, leading to the death of the whale.

Ambergris is a highly valuable raw material

In a statement, Prof. Dr. Antonio Fernandez mentioned that it’s is a highly valuable raw material, particularly in the perfume industry. He further explained that the proceeds from the sale of the discovered ambergris would be donated to individuals affected by the volcanic eruption on La Palma Island in 2021.

What is Volcanic eruption of La Palma Island?

The 2021 La Palma volcanic eruption refers to a fissure eruption that occurred at the Cumbre Vieja volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Canary Islands, specifically on the island of La Palma, Spain. It holds the record for being the longest-lasting volcanic eruption known in La Palma, lasting for 85 days.

Volcanic activity in Cumbre Vieja started on September 19th and continued until December 12th, marking the 85th day and surpassing the previous record set by the Tehuya Volcano, which remained active for 84 days in 1585. During this time, the volcano emitted over 94 million cubic meters of lava, resulting in the destruction of 2,896 buildings and causing partial damage to around 150,000 structures.

Fortunately, there were no casualties or injuries reported during the active phase of the volcano. However, the eruption led to the evacuation of nearly 6,000 people from their homes. The economic damage caused by the volcano to the island exceeded 900 million euros.

The lava covered an area of 1,182 hectares around the volcano, and a 48-hectare delta formed in the area where the lava reached the sea.

Ambergris 1 jpg An ambergris worth 500K euros was found inside the carcass
An ambergris worth 500K euros was found inside the carcass 3

Sperm whales feed on large quantities of marine organisms, but their digestive system cannot break down certain parts. These indigestible components are expelled by the whales through regurgitation. It is during this process that solidified and rare substances known as ambergris are formed. Only about one in every hundred sperm whales produces ambergris, which is usually found floating in the sea.

It’s important for perfume industry

The mineral is highly prized in the perfume industry due to its unique scent and its ability to enhance the longevity of fragrances. The discovered ambar gris has both commercial value and is intended to be used for aiding those affected by the disaster on La Palma Island.

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