Thinking of a career change? Apparently, the whale vomit market is really hot right now.
That's right, if you've got a sharp eye and don't mind the beach being your full-time office, you could make as much as $5,000 for a single pound of the stuff.
Of course, it would be a tough sell to get anyone to buy "whale vomit," which is why it was denoted with the much nicer and more common name of ambergris. Its smooth, indescribable scent is a main ingredient in fine perfumes thanks to it's ability to make scents bind to the surface of the skin instead of rapidly evaporating.
It forms in the intestines of a sperm whale, and is quickly chucked up because the whale can't digest it. Some scientists believe it's a protective measure to prevent the whales from scratching their sensitive organs with the sharp squid beaks that they often end up eating.
Initially, ambergris is a disgusting scent and sight. It comes out smelling like cow dung and is squishy from it's travels through the whale. However, after a decade of floating in the salty sea it hardens and turns into a solid, waxy clump that is not so bad to smell.
Because of it's short supply and high demand, a single gram of the stuff can be worth between $10 and $20 depending on the quality. So toss out those metal detectors and start thinking up ways to find whale vomit to ensure your retirement!