Since their first appearance in the 1960s, liquid motion lamps have been a familiar fixture in college dorms and teenager's bedrooms all over the world. In the United States and many other countries, the novelty devices have become completely entrenched in popular culture! Even after all these years, people are still buying motion lamps, and the major manufacturers now offer hundreds of variations on the basic design!

In this edition of HowStuffWorks, we'll look at these popular devices to find out exactly what happens inside to produce such a mesmerizing display. We'll also explore the history of liquid motion lamps a little, and get you started on making your own basic lamp. The next time you see a motion lamp, you'll definitely be transfixed, because you'll know all about the amazing processes at work!