For a group of poor Yemeni fishermen, the day was like any other as they headed out to sea to earn a living in the war-torn country — until they hit the jackpot in the belly of a whale.
One related how he was among 35 fishermen who stumbled upon a floating sperm whale carcass in February, about 26 kilometres off the coast of the southern city of Aden in the Middle East.
He said they dragged the dead mammal back to shore, where they sliced it open and fortunately struck “floating gold,” or ambergris, a rare substance formed in the whale’s digestive system which is used in making perfume.
The 280-pound lump of ambergris was sold to an Emirati businessman for more than 1.5 million dollars — an unimaginable sum for many living in what the United Nations says is one of the world’s poorest countries.
Some of the money was used to help those in need in the community, while the rest was split among the group of fishermen.