A lone fisherman has found an object believed to be the incredibly rare substance, ambergris.
Local media reported that the object weighs 50kgs, and was found this morning (March 25) by Shareef Idhris whilst trawling near the Velidhoo channel.
“I saw an object floating about 30ft away. I went close to it, but then I rode away without picking it up. I went back and forth about three times before picking it up,” he told Haveeru.
“People say ambergris floats. I scraped off a bit of the object and it smelled weird, so I decided to take it to the island.”
The locals, who were fortunate enough to have come across ambergris before, have estimated it to be worth up to MVR50 million. Shareef is currently seeking to confirm that the objects is ambergris, but due to the island’s previous experience of ambergris he is confident in its authenticity.
In June 2012 police were required to guard 25kg of ambergris in Hanimaadhoo after disagreements fight broke out between those claiming to have first found the precious substance.
Ambergris occurs as a biliary secretion of the intestines of the sperm whale and can be found floating upon the sea, or lying on the coast. It’s most common use is in perfume due to its unique musky fragrance.