“It smells too bad, though – it’s a very distinctive smell, like a cross between squid and farmyard manure,” Gary later told the Daily Mirror. “It feels like a rock-hard rubber ball, its texture is like wax, like a candle. When you touch it, you get wax sticking to your fingers.”
But what exactly is ambergris? Well, its alternative name, whale vomit, while not strictly accurate, does provide a clue. You see, although the substance is created by whales, it isn’t actually vomit. It’s something else altogether, and it’s produced by only one species of whale, to boot.