If you pour molten lead into cold water, the liquid shapes instantly freeze into forms with gently curving tendrils or veils trailing behind round blobs.
These shapes provide the springboard for a method of fortune telling called molybdomancy, a common New Year’s tradition in Nordic countries.
The shapes are often studied by candlelight, where they may appear as fish, birds, angels or demons. Such images spring to mind by means of a shape-conjuring process known as pareidolia.
If you want to try it, you can use lead from discarded wheel weights from a tire store. Because of the toxicity, do the melting over a well-ventilated camp stove outside, and be sure to use a frying pan that you will never use again for food. Also be sure to wash your hands after you handle the lead.
After melting a half a cup or so, pour a dash of it boldly into cold water in a bucket. In the sample above, I fused a half dozen separate pourings into a floret by welding them together at their bases with molten lead.
"Casting of the Tin" tradition in Finland. Thanks, Mervi!