I never knew there was a market for whale vomit

The New York Times has a great story on an elderly woman who came into possession of a "gnarled, funky candle"-like object that could very well be a piece of ambergris, an extremely rare material that for all the details of its origin is just plain ol’ whale vomit to you and me.  Apparently there are people who want to pay a lot of money for it, as it’s often used in making perfume.  Boy, that sure helps improve the sex appeal of those ridiculous Calvin Klein ads!  What full-blooded female wouldn’t want to spray some good old-fashioned whale intestines on herself?

Unfortunately, federal laws prohibit the poor old lady from selling her supposed ambergris on eBay or anywhere else (since it’s the by-product of the endangered sperm whale), so she’s left with using it as a coffee table fixture or a mantle ornament.  And it’s such a pretty thing, too.

You can read the story here.  And since The Times may randomly decide to make the article off-limits to everyone but subscribers, you can check out the photo below.  Loverly.

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