Photos

 

Lava Lamp's 50th Anniversary

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    The lava lamp was invented by British accountant Edward Craven-Walker in 1963.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    The lamp contains colored wax inside a glass vessel filled with clear liquid. The wax is heated from an incandescent light bulb as the base of the lamp and the wax rises and falls as the heat changes its density.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    The lamp got it's name due to it's resemblance of pāhoehoe lava.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    Common wax has a density much lower than that of water, and would float on top under any temperature.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    Haggerty Enterprises which is the manufacturer of Lava Lamps states that their current formulation is a trade secret.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    The lava lamp comes in an assortment of colors to match any environment.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    The lamps were a success throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Just about everyone and their dog had one!

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    Generally it will take 45-60 minutes for the wax to warm up into "lava."

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    In 2004, a Kent, Washington man was killed while attempting to heat up a lava lamp on a kitchen stove while closely observing it from only a few feet away. Needless to say the lava lamp exploded and it ended badly.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    In 2006 Mythbusters reenacted the event in an episode and concluded that the lava lamps should not be heated by any source other than the specifically rated bulbs and purpose-designed bases that are provided.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    Homebrew lava lamp recipes can be found over internet. However, some of them rely on combinations of highly flammable components like alcohol and are an extreme fire hazard!

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    Your local hobby store offers a safe alternative with a wax formulation that uses distilled water as its transport fluid.

    Photo: Shutterstock

 
 

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