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Waterglobe

A snow globe (also called a waterglobe, snowstorm, or snowdome) is a transparent sphere, traditionally made of glass, enclosing a miniaturized scene of some sort, often together with a model of a landscape. The sphere also encloses the water in the globe; the water serves as the medium through which the "snow" falls. To activate the snow, the globe is shaken to churn up the white particles. The globe is then placed back in its position and the flakes fall down slowly through the water. Snow globes sometimes have a built-in music box that plays a song. Some snow globes have a design around the outerbase for decoration.

Initially snow globes consisted of a heavy lead glass dome which was placed over a ceramic figure or tableau on a black cast ceramic base, filled with water and then sealed. The snow or "flitter" was created by use of bone chips or pieces of porcelain, sand or even sawdust. As they became more sophisticated, the glass became thinner, the bases were lighter (Bakelite was popular during the Art Deco period) and the snow was made out of particles of gold foil or non-soluble soap flakes. For health and safety reasons, white plastic has become more common in the construction of modern snow globes. The liquid has evolved to light oil and then a mixture of water and antifreeze (glycerin or glycol). An added benefit was that glycerin and glycol slowed the descent of the snow. {Caution should be taken if a snow globe is broken because the liquid, which can contain antifreeze, can be deadly to cats and dogs if ingested or licked off their fur.}

Today's snow globes can include music boxes, moving parts, internal lights, and even electric motors that make the "snow" move so that it is no longer necessary to shake the globe. Some also have central slots for positioning items such as photographs.