Ambergris – a French term for grey amber – is generally referred to as whale vomit. It is excreted by sperm whales after squid beaks enter into the marine mammal’s stomach and into the looping convoluted intestine. It is a solid waxy substance that often floats around on the surface of the water and sometimes settles on the coast.
It is a valuable commodity, often referred to as a floating gold. According to Indian law enforcement officials, 1 kg of ambergris is worth Rs.1 crore in the global market. It is used in the perfume industry to produce fragrances like musk. It was traditionally used for making incense as well as medicines.