A while back, I was doing some research for my book about seismometers. As it turns out, the Chinese had developed a clever system to detect earthquakes centuries ago.
Inside this large bronze vessel was some sort of mechanism that, upon detecting vibration, released one of 8 iron balls corresponding to the direction the vibration came from. The ball falls from one of the dragon mouths and into the mouth of the frog below, sounded a chime indicating a seismic event.
But what struck me was how absolutely beautiful it is.