‘Alien’ washes up on beach and it could be worth thousands
A Queensland woman was excited she might have stumbled across a blob worth a lot of money.
The woman shared a photo of the strange sea creature that had washed up on a Hervey Bay beach and asked people if they thought it was a dangerous stonefish.
But most people believed the jelly-looking find to be ambergris.
Ambergris is an intestinal slurry ejected by sperm whales that eventually hardens in the water.
It is sought after by perfume companies and worth about $US20 per gram.
In 2016, a family on South Australia's west coast discovered some that was tipped to be worth more than $1 million.
That same year three Indian fishermen hit the jackpot after scooping 80kg of the "floating gold" from the ocean, expected to net them US$2.5 million.
The woman who posted her find was told to scoop it up and put it on eBay.
"That is worth a lot," said one woman.
Not getting her hopes up, she rang a university and was told ambergris was more waxy.
The teacher told her it could have been a colony of sea squirts.
Others commenters were on the money when they suggested the lump was sea pork.
Professor Sandie Degnan, of the University of Queensland, told Yahoo News Australia that was her best guess.
"It is a kind of sea squirt, related to the cunjevois that many people are familiar with growing on our rocky shores (step on them and they squirt out water; fisherman cut them open to use their guts as fishing bait)," she said.
"This particular kind of sea squirt, probably in the genus Aplidium, is actually a colony of hundreds of tiny individual sea squirts, compared to a cunjevoi that is one single, large individual."
Sea pork gets its name from apparently resembling slabs of pig fat.
Originally published as 'Alien' creature washes up on QLD beach