The longer I live, I swear the more bizarre the stories that I hear. Did you all hear about this one? I just read about a man who sees a porcupine get hit by a car. Knowing that a rare, and highly valuable, mineral is found inside of them, he rushes over, cuts it open, and unwittingly saves the unborn babies. Jared Buzzell rushed to the aid of the dead animal and he was surprised to find the living, breathing fetuses inside.
The mineral he was seeking, a bezoar stone, is found in some animals, most commonly horses, oxen, llamas, and yes, porcupines – usually extracted from their trachea, esophagus, or large intestines. They’ve even been found in the stomachs of humans. These stones, particularly those from porcupines, have been proven to have medicinal properties, used as remedies to cure ailments such as cancer, diabetes, dengue fever, typhoid, epilepsy, hepatitis as well as many other conditions. They can develop naturally over time from deposits that accumulate from substances such as food particles, hair, medicines, plaques, or any tangible substance. In most cases, the body digests these particles and they pass through an no one ever knows they’re there. In rare cases, they form into small minerals.
I remember from science class in high school when we had to dissect animals. I was always glad we did it in a group. There was always one who was eager to do the dissecting. It was repulsive enough having to watch my classmate dissect the animals. I was glad I never had to. I always volunteered to either write up the notes or make the presentation to the class. I know you should never say “never” but, I think I’d never be able to cut open a dead animal I found on the side of the road looking for a treasure that is so rare that it’s a good bet that I won’t find anything. These stones are usually about the size of a baby Lima bean, and are generally worth about $75. I think they’d need to be worth a lot more than that for me to cut open a dead animal just on the chance that I’d find a stone inside. They are so rare, that it’s not very likely.