By Christopher Kemp
“Preternaturally hardened whale dung” isn't the first photograph that involves brain after we ponder body spray, another way a logo of glamour and attract. however the key factor that makes the subtle smell linger at the dermis is exactly this strange digestive by-product—ambergris. regardless of being one of many world’s most costly ingredients (its worth is sort of that of gold and has every now and then in historical past been triple it), ambergris can be one of many world’s least identified. yet with this strange and hugely pleasing publication, Christopher Kemp grants to alter that through uncovering the original historical past of ambergris.
A infrequent secretion produced basically by means of sperm whales, that have a keenness for squid yet an lack of ability to digest their beaks, ambergris is expelled at sea and floats on ocean currents for years, slowly reworking, sooner than it occasionally washes ashore taking a look like a nondescript waxy pebble. it might probably look nearly wherever yet is located so not often, it will possibly in addition look nowhere. Kemp’s trip starts with an come across on a brand new Zealand seashore with a huge lump of pretend ambergris—determined after a lot pleasure to not anything extra unique than lard—that evokes a entire quest to search out ambergris and its tale. he is taking us from the wild, rocky New Zealand sea coast to Stewart Island, a distant, windswept island within the southern seas, to Boston and Cape Cod, and again back. alongside the best way, he tracks down the secretive creditors and investors who populate the clandestine modern day ambergris trade.
Floating Gold is an wonderful and vigorous background that covers not just those worthy grey lumps and people who covet them, yet provides a hugely informative account of the traditional heritage of whales, squid, ocean ecology, or even a heritage of the body spray industry. Kemp’s obsessive interest is infectious, and keen readers will suppose as if they've got stumbled upon a priceless bounty of this exciting substance.