Thanks to Briton's commitment to alcohol, stumbling across a pile of vomit is a regular occurrence. And, let's be honest, not a great one.
The discovery of whale vomit, it turns out, is altogether more exhilirating. Used in the production of some of the finest perfumes and aftershaves, whale sick is also known as ambergris. It is formed in the digestive system of sperm whales and has a very strong and unpleasant aroma.
However, perfume makers use it for its musk-like qualities, and pay through the nose for it.
Happy days then for Ken Wilman, 50, who was walking on a Morecambe beach, in Lancashire, when his dog Madge started sniffing a lump of rock.
He told Sky News: "At first I thought it was a football but as I got closer I realised it was a big stone.
"She wouldn't leave it alone. I picked it up and it smelt horrible so I knocked it with my walking stick and a small lump came off.
"I put both pieces back on the beach but something in the back of my mind told me it might be something unusual.
"I came back home and searched online. I had an inkling it was whale vomit and when I saw pictures I realised it was.
"When I read how valuable it was I got Madge straight back in the car and drove back to the beach to bring it home."
"A company in France has offered 5,000 euros (£4,300) per 300g which would make my piece worth 50,000 euros (£43,000) but I'm told companies in Switzerland offer four times that amount."
Mr Wilman will spend the money taking his 15-year-old son on a trip to Machu Picchu, in Peru.