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A lava lamp (or Astro lamp) is a decorative novelty item, invented in 1963 by British accountant Edward Craven Walker, the founder of the British lighting company Mathmos. The lamp consists of a bolus of a special coloured wax mixture inside a glass vessel, the remainder of which contains clear or translucent liquid; the vessel is then placed on a box containing an incandescent light bulb whose heat causes temporary reductions in the density and viscosity of the wax. The warmed wax rises through the surrounding liquid, cools, loses its buoyancy, and falls back to the bottom of the vessel in a cycle that is visually suggestive of pāhoehoe lava, hence the name. The lamps are designed in a variety of styles and colours.

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