I found a disgusting blob washed up on the beach and it could be worth £400k… most people walked past it | The Sun

A MYSTERIOUS blob washed up on a UK beach could be worth £400,000 – but most people would have walked past it.

No one realised the strange lump, discovered on Irvine beach in Ayrshire, Scotland was in fact an incredibly rare and valuable substance.

In a bizarre twist of fate, it was uncovered by a dog enjoying her time on the shoreline.

Owner Patrick Williamson was shocked when his four-legged friend alerted him to the 'ball'.

Fortunately, Paul's fishing career meant he realised the blob was something called ambergris.

This is a valuable byproduct produced in the intestines of sperm whales that forms when the creatures can't digest food properly.

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It's a waxy substance that can sell for thousands, with one 21 pound lump raking in an eye-watering £394,000 earlier this year.

Cosmetic and perfume industries most commonly use the product to create high value fragrances, in particular musk scents.

Patrick collected a much smaller amount but is currently having it tested.

The eagle-eyed fisherman said: "I work on a fishing boat, so I knew what ambergris was. I've never seen it before, but I've heard stories about it.

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"I was walking along Irvine Beach with the dog. I clocked something on the seaweed, and the dog ran over to it and dropped her ball.

"She doesn't usually drop her ball, so I knew there was something there."

When the lucky beach-goer saw a grey and brown pebble with amber streaks, he suspected he had struck gold.

"I weighed it when I first got it, and it was about five and a half ounces. That's not really that big compared to some other bits that have been found," he explained.

"We've tested it with a hot needle, and it was doing the exact same thing that ambergris would."

Patrick was urged to take the substance to Glasgow University where they can determine its worth.

While sperm whales are a protected animal under UK law, it's not illegal to sell ambergris washed up on beaches.

If the lump found by Patrick and his pooch is valued in the thousands, the humble fisherman is unsure what he will splash the cash on.

"Everybody's been messaging me – one of my pals even contacted someone at the local paper," said Patrick.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it.

"I'm on the beaches all the time. I take my dog with me wherever I go, so we'll be looking every time we land now."

This comes as another man stumbled upon an "alien-like" goldmine washed up on the beach was shocked to find it is worth £4,000.

Dave McGirr discovered thousands of “extraordinary” white-shelled creatures clinging to a 20ft tree trunk on the Criccieth shore in Wales.

It turned out they were a rare species of barnacle known as percebes, which fetch prices rising to up to £300 per kilo.

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Each barnacle is worth around £2, which would make Dave's find worth up to around £5,000.

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