The Hush Post | 8:43 pm | One-minute read |
Mumbai police have arrested a man who was trying to sell whale puke or ambergris. Police recovered around 1.3 kg of the extremely rare substance from Rahul Dupare, the accused. The whale vomit is worth Rs. 1.7 crore in the black market.
Mumbai police and forest department arrested Dupare from the Cama Lane in Vidyavihar area of the city. Police have booked Dupare under the Wildlife Protection Act which prohibits sale of ambergris.
DEMANDED IN PERFUME INDUSTRY
Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish colour produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. Freshly produced ambergris has a marine, fecal odor. However, it acquires a sweet, earthy scent as it ages, commonly likened to the fragrance of rubbing alcohol without the vaporous chemical astringency.
Perfumers value ambergris highly owing to its slow evaporating properties. It acts as as a fixative that allows the scent to last much longer. Synthetic ambroxan has mostly replaced it lately.
Normally a sperm whale secretes around 80 to 100 kg of ambergris it to protect its gut from very sharp beaks of squid it prays on in the ocean. Whales vomit ambergris when secreted in larger quantities.
The substance is also described as floating gold and is found afloat the tropical seas. Although Ambergris can be found on the ocean surface, the police suspects that it might possibly be secured by killing sperm whales. However, the substance is quite difficult to find and is normally exported to the gulf as it gets very high prices there.
Dogs are known to be attracted to the smell of ambergris and are therefore sometimes used by ambergris searchers.