The fishermen who found a fortune in the stomach of a whale

The fishermen who found a fortune in the stomach of a whale

A group of fishermen in Yemen made a discovery that changed their lives

They found the corpse of a sperm whale in whose belly was ambergris, a rare substance that can be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“I was so happy. Wonderful feelings that I cannot describe. Thank God for this,” said one of the fishermen.

“If you find whale ambergris, it’s a treasure.”

This substance is very valuable in the perfume industry, as it is used to preserve aromas.

Fishermen were able to get US $1.5 million, an unimaginable figure for many people in Yemen, a country mired in poverty and war.

“This whale had something”

Ambergris comes from the intestines of the sperm whale, a marine mammal similar to whales, but from another family.

Experts say only 1% to 5% of sperm whales generate ambergris.

In the past, this viscous substance was used in traditional medicine, to make incense and in some aphrodisiacs. It is currently used to preserve the aroma in perfumes.

“One of the fishermen from Seriah called us in the morning and said, ‘There’s a whale and it may have ambergris.’ We said we would go see her. As soon as we got closer, there was a strong smell and we had the feeling that this whale had something.” Explained one of the fishermen.

“We decided to hook the whale, take it to shore and cut it off to see what was inside its belly. And yes, it was ambergris. I felt very happy”.

Life changed

The group of fishermen did not expect their find to be worth $1.5 million.

“We are all poor,” said one of them.

They decided to divide the profits and also share something with people with disabilities: “We buy houses, because we will get married soon. And we gave money to the homes of the needy”.

Even though they now have more money, some of them say they will not stop fishing.

“It is like an incredible dream. I have to stay at sea, even if I don’t catch anything. It’s in my blood”.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.