This man found a strange rock on the face. He noticed that there could be more to this “rock” so he requested assistance. Moments later, his house was closed off and quarantined.
Shortly after he made the call, an officer arrived at his home with ready to share what he found. The man was completely speechless with his jaw dropped. But what was it?
Taking A Walk
Back in the Spring of 2016, a couple named Steven Whitten and Viola were going for a nice walk on Middleton Sand. This was there spot in Lancashire England. It was very close to their home in Overton and it had impeccable views.
Middleton Sands is quite the favorite spot amongst hikers and dog owners in the area. Steven and Viola preferred their privacy when they were trying to relax.
Something Was Off
As they were enjoying the view, Steven suddenly saw something off. There was a horrible odor in the air. Soon after they found something that would subsequently alter their lives.
They sniffed a few times trying to understand the source of the smell. It resembled rotten fish and they had never smelt it before. They wanted to get away from the area, but they couldn’t help but still be curious. As they continued, they finally saw it. There was a greyish blop lying on the ground.
The couple walked towards the horrible odor hoping to find what it was. Then they saw a strange rock washed up on the beach. This rock was similar in size to a football.
Steven extended his arm to touch the rock. He had read a lot about strange beaches, but nothing about finding strange discoveries. He and his wife were eager to know more.
He wanted patiently till he could pinpoint the smell, but still nothing. It was completely unfamiliar. The smell was disgusting but very strong, he recalled it was like a mix between squid and farmyard manure.
Steven and Viola always wanted to be rich. They waited for the day that something would change and they would win the lottery or something. While for most people that was just a dream. For them, it was closer than they thought.
The Next Step
The couple thought deeply about what they should do with the rock. They weren’t sure if to leave it behind because of the smell or take it with them. This required intense thought until they would arrive at a decision.
Taking A Chance
The couple had no intention of letting go. This could be their big chance to get rich and they were not going to just pass it up. They were not positive it was worth anything, but they were willing to test their luck.
Taking It Home
He carefully lifted the rock and wrapped it in Viola’s scarf. He wanted it to stay secure. He also did not want to show this rock to anyone else. As soon as he arrived home he would go online.
Steven pulled out his fisherman scales to check the size of the strange rock. It said nearly 3.5 pounds. This made the couple excited and eager. At that point, he was aware that he could not do this alone.
He went online to a community Facebook group and posted a photo of the rock. Shortly after there were tons of comments. You will not believe what happened afterward.
Could It Be A Meteor?
Everyone wanted to share their responses. They had very abstract ideas that he was quick to dismiss. Some said that it was part of a volcanic rock that came from the ocean, while others speculated it was a meteor.
The Possibilities Were Endless
Then someone suggested that Steven use the “magnet test.” This would help him get to his answer. This guy was sure he was correct, but unfortunately, nobody had the answers.
In an interview, Steven said that the rock felt like a hard rubber ball. The texture was also waxlike, it like you were touching wax. With these descriptions, what could it be?
Panic Levels High
There was something off about the rock that causes such a chaos in the Whitten home. He took the object to his home and held it up against a magnet. At that point, his anxiety was boosting. I don’t know about you but we are pretty nervous ourselves.
He was starting to get hesitant to continue. He and his wife were not equipped to experiment on this strange rock. It could easily be dangerous, they had no idea. At the same time, they couldn’t stop their curiosity.
What Is The Magnet Test?
The magnet test is a useful way to check if an object is gold. In cases where its not authentic, the fake gold will attract magnets. The magnet helps people understand what the real material they have found is.
After performing the “magnet test” he found that the rock did not contain iron. This meant that it was not a meteorite, despite what some thought. Still, Steven was unsure why the object had such a horrible smell.
Things Were Picking Up
After his search, the man decided that this would too much for him to handle on his own. He had no way of knowing if it was dangerous. He quickly called for assistance and momentarily men in uniform arrived.
He got help from those online, but it was not enough. Nobody knew what it was for sure and he needed the mind of an expert to uncover the truth. You will never guess what happened when he called for help.
Moments later, two experts arrived in protective gear and cordoned off his home. They entered the house and tried to get rid of the substance carefully, while Steven and his wife told them what to do.
Getting To The Bottom Of It
They left their rock on the table for the experts to examine. After looking carefully they delivered the news to the couple. Steven and Viola were left completely speechless, this was far beyond what they were expecting.
At A Loss
Steven grabbed Viola and pulled her in close as they waited to go forward. The whole time Steven was thinking about the worse possible scenario. They hoped that the experts would calm them, but one look at their faces and this was not the case.
The authorities informed Steven that the item was not going to cause any harm and this was a breath of fresh air for them. Although, it was not just a piece of garbage on the beach. Then the officials said what it was and his eyes brightened. The experts said that the rock was a very rare piece of ambergris. Sometimes this would wash up on the shore.
For centuries people desired the substance ambergris. It is commonly known for its horrible odor. However, over time it starts to become rather sweet. For hundreds of years, this material has been included in expensive perfumes. Some say you can even eat it.
Ambergis originates in the bile ducts of whales and then goes out. This process is a bit gross. It is very rare so it is worth a ton. Lucky for Steven and Viola, they just stumbled upon it. They started to get excited.
Ambergris comes from one specific whale, the sperm whale. These whales can be located in all oceans. They can become 67 feet long and eight nearly over 63 tons. Sperm whales have increased in amount, but do not always produce a lot.
Sperm whales have been hunted for years due to their blubber. This blubber can be used to create candles, soap, machine oil, and more. In the 19th and 20th centuries, nearly one million whales were killed so in 1980 there was a law against this. Thus, ambergris is so rare these days.
Not only is ambergris so rare but the process of creating it is also very slow. Most people also think that not all sperm whales produce the substance. Expert officials even say that only 1% of the population produces this. It is usually found in the Atlantic Ocean.
Most countries have banned trading ambergris. In the United States, trading ambergris is part of the larger ban on hunting and using whales for personal preferences. However, in the UK, Steven got lucky. There, ambergris is categorized as waste.
The couple was completely blown away when they discovered that someone else found ambergris in Morecambe. This was found very close to Steven and Viola and sold for $1555,000! Steven and Viola wondered how much there’s would be worth!
Loads Of Cash
The ambergris found in Morecambe weighed nearly 6 pounds. It was double the size of the Whitten piece. So that meant there’s would probably go for around $65,000. For a whale product? That seemed incredible!
Following Their Dreams
With all this money, what would the couple do? Settle their debt? Pay their mortgage? Maybe retire early? However, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, Steven said that it would help them towards buying a static caravan, which is their life long dream.