The physics of skipping stones across water has been studied by many. One engineer in particular wrote a book on the subject: The Secrets of Stone Skipping. For nearly three decades, Jerdone Coleman studied stone skipping in a huge variety of conditions, even working with MIT’s Strobe Project Lab to photograph the stones in motion.
In 1879, postman Ferdinand Cheval tripped over an oddly shaped stone. The shape inspired him and he returned the next day to collect more stones. And he did not stop collecting until he had built himself a palace of the stones.
In the same year [21 AD], a certain artist discovered how to temper glass, making it flexible and ductile. And when he had been brought before Tiberius Caesar, he offered him a small bottle; at which the emperor was indignant, and threw it down on floor. But the artist picked the bottle up from the floor, which had become bent like a vessel […]