Meanwhile in Yemen: You’ll Never Guess Where Fishermen Found Million-Dollar Treasure (Hint: It Brings New Meaning to Term ‘Filthy Rich’)

It’s not every day that taking out the trash makes you a millionaire. But that’s exactly what happened to a group of Yemeni fishermen who were tasked with hauling the carcass of a dead sperm whale floating in the Gulf of Aden back to shore.

Due to the size of the whale, it took 35 fishermen rowing small boats to bring the catch ashore. And as the seamen approached the sperm whale (not as sexy as it sounds), they were overcome with the pungent smell of treasure.

It turns out the carcass was full of million-dollar vomit in the form of ambergris, a rare waxy buildup found inside the intestines of less than 1 percent of sperm whales. Though fresh ambergris is extremely gag-inducing, when it’s dried out it has a sweet, long-lasting fragrance that makes it highly sought after in high-end perfumeries.

Like the black truffles of the fragrance industry, ambergris is worth its weight in gold. At $50,000 per kilogram, the 127 kg catch netted the lucky fishermen over $1.5 million. Even split among three dozen men, the treasure was enough to lift them out of poverty, affording them houses, new boats, and peace of mind.

But the fortunate fishermen didn’t blow all their riches on themselves, they also donated money to build homes for the needy in their village. Yemen might be one of the poorest nations on earth, devastated by a civil war that’s been raging since 2014, but these men have found value in their lives, returning to the sea they love despite their sudden windfall. And no amount of money is worth more than loving what you do to put bread on the table. The whale vomit is just the cherry on top.

Cover Photo: YouTube

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