1963 was a big year for our little blue planet. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The first woman, Valentina Tereshkova, went to space. Elizabeth Taylor’s “Cleopatra” hit 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 in the same year. Lava lamps contain colored wax suspended in liquid and as the lamp heats up, changes occur to the wax’s density and liquid’s surface tension. As the warmed wax rises through the liquid it then cools down, loses it’s buoyancy and falls back down 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 and flowing type of basaltic lava.
Lava lamps exploded in popularity worldwide over the coming decades and became a cultural symbol of the 1960s and 1970s. Lava lamps made many appearances in popular television shows of the time, including “Doctor Who” and “The Avengers.” They’ve since become synonymous with counter culture and hippies, often accompanied by plenty of tie dye, 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.