A “treasure” worth over $500,000 was found inside a dead sperm whale.

When the inhabitants of La Palma discovered a sperm whale washed ashore on the shore of one of the beaches, they could not even imagine that they had found a real treasure in its depths. Antonio Fernandez, director of the Institute of Animal Health and Food Safety at the University of Las Palmas, who has already performed autopsies on more than 1,000 whales, became interested in the giant mammal’s cause of death and began examining the sperm whale. Inside, he found a big surprise: a huge stone weighing 9 kg and 50 centimeters in diameter, with an estimated value of 500,000 euros ($544,400).

Experts have discovered something unexpected inside a cetacean. (Ben Pruchni/Getty Images)

Delicacy, aphrodisiac and inherently desirable

We are talking about amber, a rare substance, also known as floating gold because of its great value. It has been used in many ways throughout history: it was used in religious ceremonies, as an aphrodisiac in the Middle East, as a delicacy in China, or in traditional medicine. Today, this substance is in great demand in the perfume industry: Ambergris has a special smell similar to sandalwood and contains ambrein, an odorless alcohol that can fix and prolong the life of fragrances.

According to experts, only 1% to 5% of sperm whales produce these stones, which is why they are so special. They form inside animals from the indigestible remains of the food they eat, such as squid or cuttlefish.

deadly treasure

Sometimes the whales succeed in driving it out and the stone is left floating in the sea, hence its name floating gold. But sometimes it gets too big, rupturing the intestines and killing the whale.

This was the case with the whale found in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. As the analysis shows, The cetacean, 13 meters long and weighing about 20 tons, has already died before reaching the beach.. An autopsy revealed hemorrhagic lesions in various organs and identified sepsis as the definitive cause of death.

A "treasure" worth over $500,000 was found inside a dead sperm whale.
The cetacean died because of this large stone, as it caused injury to its colon. (Ben Pruchni/Getty Images)

The Institute is looking for a buyer. The funds raised will go to help those affected by the 2021 La Palma volcanic eruption, which caused more than 800 million euros in damage and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses.


International Whaling Commission, sperm whales are the largest toothed cetaceans; they have teeth in their lower jaws that they use to grab large squid or fish, unlike whales, which filter smaller, denser prey through their whiskers.

For many almost mythical creatures, sperm whales have historically been feared and revered in all cultures around the world. In the famous 19th century novel Moby Dick, the main character is a sperm whale. and is based on the experience of the “Yankee whalers” who in the 1800s sailed the world’s oceans in search of whales using small open boats.

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Author: german wave
Source: La Opinion

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