This desktop tornado is a cool alternative to a lavalamp. It uses an atomizer to make the smoke out of water, and fans to make it swirl. It includes seven different experiments you can do with it. It looks pretty cool, but it’s fairly expensive.
This is the device that creates a swirling vortex of air on a desktop. A built-in atomizer turns water into a cloud of mist while a fan in the base creates the updraft. Six circulation manifolds generate convergence and rotation, creating a rapidly spinning vertical column of air—the hallmark of any tornado. Users can change the direction of the air circulating manifolds, adjust the speed of the updraft fan, or adjust the intake fan on top to change the funnel speed of the tornado. The instruction manual includes seven experiments and provides easy-to-follow directions for assembling the unit in 10 minutes. Plugs into AC. 18″ H x 14 1/2″ W x 12 1/2″ D. (9 1/2 lbs.)
You can get it here for $299