A macabre twist on the Magic 8 Ball known as the 'Tragic Fate Ball' has been invented by Stuart Gorman. His revision of the clairvoyant toy offers darkly humorous answers as to "how someone will die," including 'Shot by the Dalai Lama' and 'Swallowed Rubik's Cube,' reports Gizmodo. Starting with a 3-D printed billiard ball that swaps out the "8" for a skull and crossbones, Gorman's construction of the device is demonstrated in the above video.
Interestingly, the original Magic 8 Ball was designed by the son of a Cincinnati medium, Albert C. Carter, who was trying to emulate a divination tool his mother used in readings. He called his liquid-filled tube the 'Syco-Seer' and teamed up with Max Levinson and Abe Bookman to market it in the 1940s. After Carter passed away, Bookman changed the design to a crystal ball, which caught the attention of Brunswick Billiards, who requested the pool ball design for a promotional giveaway. Bookman decided to keep this design and eventually sold it to a larger company. Today, it's manufactured by Mattel, who claim to sell a million of 'em each year. More on the ball's history at Mental Floss.
While it's handy to have the actual ball to quickly weigh in on your pressing yes or no questions, there are now, of course, online versions offered through sites like ifate.com, as well as mobile apps.