Artist Steve Pittelkow speaks about the history of marbling or Ebru, as it was invented by Turks some 600 years ago. This video also shows the main steps of the process and tools used for marbling.
However, I should mention that even if Ebru is a Turkish technique, there are other places of origin of similar forms of art. Some of them even are more than a millennium old. Suminagashi (墨流し) – a Japanese way of transferring floating ink to paper is known at least from the 12th century.
There were also similar Chinese techniques dating back a far as the 10th century or even earlier.