It's a modern tale with a rich and fragrant whiff of Jonah and the Whale, when a group of Yemeni fishermen made the catch of their lives this week in the Gulf of Aden.
After a large, dead whale was spotted floating in the waters of the coast of Yemen, 37 fishermen helped drag it ashore, the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National reported. But what they found in the belly of the beast could make them incredibly rich in one of the world's poorest countries: a giant blob of unexpelled and very valuable vomit.
Known as ambergris, the waxy substance is used to make high-end perfumes. And as gross as it may sound, it's literally worth its weight in gold.
Last year, a fisherman in Thailand made headlines when he came across about 100 kilograms (220 lbs) of the stuff washed up on a beach. London's The Daily Mail estimated that the find to be worth some 2.4 million pounds ($3.3 million).
The chunk discovered in Yemen is reported to be larger still — weighing nearly 130 kilograms (287 lbs) — and perfume makers have already made offers to buy it. But in a war-torn country where the average annual income is just $800, the ambergris is also a serious source of stress.
"We want to strike a deal to sell it as soon as possible, because the longer it stays the more challenging the situation will become," one of the lucky fishermen told The National. "We have [already] had a big quarrel over how the money should be shared."
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