I found these pics on my computer, and I had almost forgotten that this happened. So here's the story....
One day shortly after our laboratory moved from the old research building into the new shiny building an accident occurred!
To sterilize things they are put into an autoclave, which uses both heat and pressure. When you are putting things in to be sterilized they are usually placed into a plastic nalgene tray. Well in our new lab area the autoclave apparently functions at a
much higher temperature than the old one, and it melts things that should be safe.....like the nalgene pan that was melted and shown in the these pics. The tech in the lab beside ours literally screamed when she found it! (hilarious) It melted through the rack in the autoclave and as the plastic cooled it took on this cook mushroom-ish shape on one side and a checker pattern on the other. It's interesting how science so closely resembles art.
Other things that have been melted in the autoclave.... 1.5 mL tubes, canisters, and a carboy that holds like 10 Liters of fluid. Anyway, just wanted to share our random/accidental lab art with everyone!