Psychedelic Science

Make your own temporary lava lamp with objects around your home!


Photo Courtesy of Selina Fluty

This lava lamp is bright and colorful, and it’s made with only four ingredients.

Selina Fluty, Editor of Student Opinion

Have you ever wanted to get one of those enchanting, ‘80s style lava lamps, but didn’t have the money or place to put it? This temporary lava lamp that’s safe to dispose of can be made quickly and easily and still has the same effect that one of the store-bought lamps has.

What you will need:

  • A clear cup or bottle
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Food coloring of choice (You can use two or three if you want, but they will eventually mix, so make sure you get the combination you want.)
  • Alka-Seltzer or any other tablet that fizzes

Take your clear cup and fill it three-fourths of the way with water. Fill the rest of the cup up with vegetable oil, until it’s near the top. Then, put 10-12 drops of food coloring. Any type of food coloring will work. Once that settles at the bottom, put in the tablet, and watch the lava lamp go! Once the bubbles settle down, you can just put in another tablet. Try putting more than one tablet or maybe three. Either way, it’s a great way to get rid of your boredom and is easily disposable. Just pour out and rinse!

One thing I did notice is that it does tend to spray mist, so if you‘re putting the lamp inside, put the glass on a napkin or paper plate. I also was listening to “Mercury” and “Sun” in the album “Atlas: Year One” by Sleeping at Last as I did this, and it was good background music for the creation.

All in all, I loved making this little blast from the past, and it’s a great part-time feature or party trick for any occasion!