Friday, September 14, 2012

oh the earthy smell of whale turds

Earthy Tones” for you marketing types.

a beach we visited once - now I wish I looked for whale turds

Have you had the experience of being a little grossed out when you learn the details of something that you didn't know was gross?  For example, harmless and beneficial bacteria far outnumber harmful varieties. However bacteria information can be repulsive.

I thought the Chinese had all the strange uses for animal parts (shark fins, scorpions, snakes) but now I’ve learned about sperm whale turds. The internet advances my mind once again.

If your beach combing ever turns up a sperm whale turd, consider it your lucky day. I have seldom, if ever, written “turd” in my blog postings. Today, actually having a reason to use this powerful compact word is a pleasure. I’ll switch to the fancier word (new to me) for this whale turd. Ambergris is a valuable whale turd (I just had to get one more rolled out on the table).

My ambergris (turd knowledge sounds very low class) knowledge came from a story of a boy beach combing. Charlie, an 8-year-old British boy found this odd waxy rock on his local beach. After some google searching and help from a local marine biologist (does everyone living near the sea know a marine biologist?) it was determine he had a good size piece of ambergris.

His ambergris find is estimated to be worth about $65,000. Not bad for beach combing. The value comes from it’s use to make expensive perfumes. Think Chanel No. 5 and better.

The older the ambergris the better. It ages like a fine wine.

Oh the olfactory ideas this story provides. Smell like the whales.

(from wikipedia) During the Middle Ages, Europeans used ambergris as a medication for headaches, colds, epilepsy, and other ailments. The sperm whales dine on squid who have sharp beaks. The whale’s intestines protects itself by coating the beaks with a fatty substance. After it’s expelled, floats a few years, washes up on a beach, sold to a perfumery, you buy a tiny bit inside that expensive scent.

It would be fun to ask at the perfumes counter which perfume is made with whale turds.

Oh honey, come closer you smell like a whale.

23 comments:

OneStonedCrow said...

Hehehe ... I wish Elephantoids were valuable - I'd be rich ...

enuff said ... I'm heading off to the beach ...

Lilly said...

Wow, imagine that. I was grossed out by the title of your post. But then I saw you had also mentioned Chanel No 5 so knew it might be interesting, and it was. so Bill what am i looking for exactly what does it look like this stuff? Am going to the beach tomorrow and I might strike gold! I can always count on your posts to teach me something, thanks!

Kathy said...

Unbelievable really yet fascinating! Have a great weekend!

savannah said...

fascinating, sugar! i have to admit that this nugget of olfactory information makes me very happy i can no longer wear perfume! ;~) xoxox

GB DB said...

I will have to keep that in the back of my mind for trivia, maybe I will get one question right. Interesting stuff!

Bearman Cartoons said...

The tag line...no only look like a beached whale but smell like one too

lisleman said...

Hey if you find some please remember the lowly blogger who told you about. National Geographic site has a picture and more info on it.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/120830-ambergris-charlie-naysmith-whale-vomit-science/

lisleman said...

I thought of writing beached whale but thought it might be pushing my luck and I avoid poking fun at overweight people.

lisleman said...

thanks - I have not played trivia pursuit in a long time.

lisleman said...

Ha you can tell them (who that would be - no idea) that you stopped wear whale nuggets (or whatever your favorite term for those are).
thanks

lisleman said...

thanks you too.

lisleman said...

Are Elephantoids (made up word right?) like cow pies? We have cow pie throwing contests at some of the fairs. Never been in one but have been told I'm full of BS before.

Tami said...

I am going to research what is in my favorite perfume. Victoria Secret "Pink". I will be devastated if there is any type of "turd" in in!

Secret Agent Woman said...

I actually did know this factoid about ambergris. I'm untroubled by the "ick" factor unless it is something I plan to eat.

Secret Agent Woman said...

WHY can I not comment as a blogger?

lisleman said...

It does offer the option of Google which it shows as G+. I believe you don't need to be on G+ to use you Google account which is signed in with you gmail account. Now since you were on blogger (owned by Google) you must have a gmail account. I agree the G+ symbol throws you off.
- oh about the post - If you are not eating it - that's a sensible approach which does not surprise me from you because you seem very practicable and sensible.
Oh are you back to blogging?

lisleman said...

You know the names for perfume is weirder than the ingredients. Let me know.
thanks

longhollow said...

This is the most educational thing I've read today!!

lisleman said...

Is this a trick comment? Have you been reading labels again? Well assuming no tricks, thank you, it's a pleasure to entertain and educate.

unknownmami said...

I read this piece while I was at work on Sunday (the browser at work doesn't work with the new Disqus) and all I can say is that is a shitload of money.

lisleman said...

That browser might need an update of javascript. You are so good with the words. You have an advantage being bi-lingual. I think it allows you to think outside the box more. thanks

unknownmami said...

I just like to use curse words.

lisleman said...

Ha - an online curser. Pent-up words that you don't allow yourself to say in front of the kids. Get online and let it loose.

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