Cellulose nitrate was used to make dice from the late 1860s until the middle of the twentieth century, and the material remains stable for decades. Then, in a flash, they can dramatically decompose. Nitric acid is released in a process called outgassing. The dice cleave, crumble, and then implode.
From Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck by Ricky Jay and Rosamond Purcell, 2002.
Engraved frontispiece to Jean Puget de la Serre, ‘The Mirrour which Flatters not’ (London, Elizabeth Purslowe for R. Thrale, 1639), trans by T.C.;
Death, seated on a pile of skulls and bones, wearing crown and ermine cloak, and holding a sceptre and a frame enclosing the title; one foot on a sphere; by the other foot, a winged hourglass with skull on top.
Creepy Relics Left Behind at Abandoned Veterinary School
The relics of a historic building’s past are always a coveted find for urban explorers seeking to document the ruins. But this abandonment is not for the faint of heart, nor the animal lovers among us.
Arguably the weirdest location, L’école de Médecine Vétérinaire in Brussels, Belguim is a macabre warehouse of pickled animal organs left behind when the faculty relocated to other premises in the Belgian capital. Left to gather dust well beyond the reach of sunlight, jars containing animal lungs, hearts, brains and other morbid specimens sit on shelves spanning entire walls in the abandoned veterinary school.
Because of strict mourning rituals, when a woman was in mourning, she couldn’t wear or display anything bright or flashy — even shiny pins keeping her clothing together. So women would use these mourning pins to button their clothes. The pins resemble thin black nails.