1963 was a great year for our little blue planet. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The first woman, Valentina Tereshkova, went into space. Elizabeth Taylor’s “Cleopatra” hits the big screen. And the lava lamp was invented.
The lava lamp was invented by British entrepreneur Edward Craven Walker, who founded the lighting company Mathmos the same year. Lava lamps contain colored wax suspended in a liquid and as the lamp heats up changes occur in the density of the wax and the surface tension of the liquid. As the heated wax rises through the liquid, it cools, loses buoyancy, and falls back to the bottom of the lamp in a continuous cycle. Lava lamps got their name after mimicking the visual effects of Pāhoehoe lava, which is a smooth, flowing type of basalt lava.
Lava lamps exploded in popularity around the world over the coming decades and became a cultural symbol of the 1960s and 1970s. Lava lamps made numerous appearances on popular television shows of the time, including “Doctor Who” and “The Avengers”. They have since become synonymous with counterculture and hippies, often accompanied by numerous tie-dyes, peace signs and Grateful Dead records.
Take a look at 75 of the grooviest lava lamp tattoos we could find on social media in the gallery below. Then let us know your favorite lava lamp tattoo on this list in the comments section on social media.