WTF? Most Valuable Sh** in the World
Meter-Long Fossilized Poop
In 2012, a man was digging and found a 40 inch long piece of fossilized poop, otherwise known as a coprolite. He found it in Toledo Washington and it’s from an unidentified animal that lived between 6 to 33 million years ago. In 2014, it sold at auction for $10,370. However, the poop became controversial because some experts said it isn’t a coprolite at all but probably volcanic ash that turned to clay.
The poop of Elephants from the Golden Triangle in Thailand is used to make one of the most expensive coffees in the world called Black Ivory. It’s made from the coffee manufacturers collecting coffee beans from the elephant poop. These specific beans have a non bitter and sweet taste because of the elephant’s diet of bananas and sugarcane. A pound of this coffee sells for around $500. Just 35 grams of the elephant coffee beans go for $100. It’s so expensive because every 73 lbs of coffee beans the elephants eat just 2.2 lbs are usable.
The Italian artist Piero Manzoni, is known for his works in the Avant-garde movement and pioneering “concept art.” It’s safe to say that Manzoni’s art was a bit strange. His art includes boiled eggs, plain white canvases and just a balloon titled Artist’s Breath. Manzoni deliberately pushed the bounds of what was considered art and he would often mock what art dealers and collectors would pay tons of money for. He was also known to use his own excrements in his art pieces. He is perhaps most famous for his work titled Merda d’Artista, which translates to Artist’s Sh**. In 1961, he literally pooped in 90 cans and sealed them up. He weighed and priced the cans the same amount as gold at the time. It was a totally ridiculous thing to do and that was the point. However, over time the cans became very valuable. In 2007, the Tate Art Gallery in London bought a can for $30,000. In Milan, the very same year, a can was auctioned for over $100,000. In 2016, a can sold for $242,000. Today each is valued at around $300,000.
Guano is the poop of seabirds and bats that is used as fertilizer by farmers for their crops. In the 19th and 20th centuries before modern fertilizers, Guano was the number 1 sought after fertilizer in the world. Back then when agriculture was a good chunk of every nation’s economy Guano was extremely valuable. In fact, during those times Peru made most of its money just by exporting Guano to other countries. Because of its value, Guano became the center of several conflicts. In 1864, Peru went to war with Spain after Spain seized Peru’s Guano rich Chincha Islands. Peru ended up winning with the help from Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia. Then in 1879, Peru and Chile went to war as an indirect cause over Guano, called the War of the Pacific. Today, Peru stills mines Guano (though it isn’t as valuable) as an organic fertilizer.
Lloyds Bank Coprolite
In 1972, some construction workers were digging to build a new building for Lloyds Bank in York, England. There they found a 8x2 inch piece of fossilized human feces. After experts examined it they concluded that it was passed by a Viking living in the ninth century. The diet of the pooper was mostly bread and meat and they were most likely constipated for several days before passing such a behemoth of a turd. Today, the coprolite is at the Jorvic Viking Centre in York. It’s estimated value is $39,000 but it’s currently not for sale.
Jacu Bird Dung
Jacu Bird coffee is another expensive kind of coffee made from animal poop. This type is collected from the wild Jacu Bird that lives in Brazil. Henrique Sloper de Araujo, a Brazilian farmer came up with the idea when he noticed that Jacu Birds were eating his coffee cherries. They wouldn’t just eat any coffee cherries though, they would only eat the ripest ones in the shade. Henrique knew about other coffees made from animal dung so he collected the coffee beans from the Jacu Birds to see if they were good. In 2006, he released the first Jacu Bird coffee beans and today they sell for around $100 for just 4 ounces of coffee beans. Fans of the coffee claim the coffee is entirely non-bitter with a smooth after taste.
The fecal matter that will make you instantly rich if you got your hands on same is called Ambergris. Ambergris is produced by Sperm Whales when they eat things like squid and cuttle fish. The Sperm Whales can’t fully digest the beaks and other hard parts of these sea animals so they usually just vomit them out. But in some cases they get lodged in their intestines and remain there for a long time (sometimes for years) until it’s finally pooped out.
Ambergris has been used by humans for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians burned Ambergris as incense. Other cultures ate it as a fine food delicacy. In the middle ages, rich people were convinced that if they wore a necklace of Ambergris they wouldn’t get the black plague. Today, Ambergris is mostly used in the production of perfume.
In 2016, three fisherman found a huge piece of Ambergris (176 lb) that was valued at 3 million dollars. In the same year, a British couple found just a 3.46 lb piece that sold for $70,000.