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Each glass ball has a metal tag attached that serves to both indicate temperature and as a counterweight.

GALILEO Thermometers

There’s no more beautiful way to measure the temperature than using a Galileo thermometer. This fairly accurate instrument is based on the thermoscope invented by Galileo Galilei in the early 17th century. Unlike your typical mercury-in-glass thermometer that’s basically a narrow bulb made with mercury that expands and contracts, the Galileo thermometer is far more complex. It’s comprised of multiple glass spheres each filled with a coloured liquid mixture which often contains alcohol but can even be simply water with food colouring added. These floating balls sink or float inside the surrounding water over time and temperature ever so slowly and gracefully.