In news- The police and forest department recently arrested six men for smuggling two kgs of ambergris in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi.
- It is commonly known as whale vomit.
- It is an extremely expensive substance used in manufacturing perfume.
- It is a waxy substance formed inside the stomach of sperm whales which hunt and eat giant squids and colossal squids.
- It is formed by the beaks of squid that are partially digested by sperm whales and then released into the sea.
- This whale excretion is so valuable it is referred to as floating gold.
- As per the latest estimates, 1 kg of ambergris is worth Rs 1 crore in the international market.
- Ancient Egyptians used it as incense.
- It is also believed to be used in some traditional medicines.
- Since the sperm whale is a protected species, hunting of the whale is not allowed.
- However, smugglers are known to have illegally targeted the fish in order to obtain the valuable Ambergris from its stomach.