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10+ Tattoo Facts That Can Teach Us an Unexpected Lesson

Tattoos have become a way of expressing oneself or marking significant events in life. As tattoos become increasingly popular, people from all walks of life are getting inked. Some get them done purely for fun, while others want to cover up birthmarks or scars. And some people honor their loved ones by getting memorial tattoos. Let’s walk through some exciting and intriguing tattoo facts you may want to know.

1. The oldest tattoos date back more than 5,000 years ago.

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When the 5,300-year-old mummy, Ötzi, or the Iceman, was found in 1991 beneath a glacier in the Alps, he had 61 tattoos on his well-preserved body. To this day, he’s served as the oldest evidence of tattoos, dating back to the start of the Bronze Age.

2. Cosmetic tattoos are gaining popularity.

Cosmetic tattoos have never been more popular than they are today. They serve as a type of permanent makeup, and some people try to hide their insecurities with it.

3. Irezumi is a type of Japanese tattoo.

Irezumi is a Japanese word that means ’’tattoo.’’ It’s also the name of the distinctive style of Japanese tattooing. It’s done by hand using metal needles and special ink called Nara.

4. Tattoos symbolize status in New Zealand’s Maoris culture.

Maori culture uses Ta Moko tattoos, or Maori tattoos, which were initially used to represent a person’s status, rank, descent, and skills. The more complex the tattoo is on the face, the higher the person’s social position. Face tattoos are reserved for leaders and the upper classes.

5. Meet the National Living Treasures Awards Nominee, Whang-od Oggay, a 105-year-old tattoo artist from the Philippines.

Whang-od Oggay was born on February 17, 1917, in the Philippines. She belongs to the Butbut ethnic component within the wider Kalinga ethnic group and is frequently said to be the oldest traditional Kalinga tattoo artist.

6. The first known female tattoo artist in the US didn’t have the right to vote.

Maud Wagner was the first known female tattoo artist in the US in 1907 when women still didn’t have the right to vote. She was one of the last tattoo artists that didn’t use a tattoo machine and did all her work by hand.

7. Even the eyeballs can be tattooed.

There is an eyeball tattoo technique that allows permanent coloring of the sclera (the white part) of the eye. The ink is injected inside the eye and is non-reversible.

8. They’re great for covering up unwanted scars.

  • “I have had multiple ankle surgeries. Today I got a tattoo to make my scar a little sillier.” © RoscoMan1 / Reddit

Scars, similar to tattoos, tell us a story behind the permanent mark. While some people are comfortable having them, others try to find a way to cover them or transform them into more beautiful spots on the body.

9. Urine was once used for mixing tattoo ink.

You might be stunned to discover that certain civilizations combined coal dust with urine to mix the tattoo ink. Today, ink typically consists of a carrier and dried pigments.

10. The first tattoo machine was inspired by an electric pen.

Tomas Edison invented the first electrical pen, which was redesigned in 1891 and patented as the first tattoo machine. Before that, tattoos took much longer to get done.

11. The easiest color to remove with laser treatments is black.

Because the laser can target the black pigment more specifically, black tattoos are the simplest to erase. Other colors, like red, blue, and green, might be more difficult to remove, depending on whether the tattoos were done by an expert or an amateur. Green is the most difficult to remove, followed by pale blue.

12. The oldest person to get their first tattoo was 104.

On his 104th birthday, Jack Reynolds from the UK got a tattoo at the local tattoo parlor. “Jacko 6.4.1912” was tattooed on the centenarian’s upper arm. In his own handwriting, the ink displays his nickname and his birth date of April 6, 1912.

13. The head is one of the most painful places to get a tattoo.

Your head and face have many nerve endings that can be stimulated during a tattoo and cause extreme discomfort. Because you don’t have much fat on your head and face, you don’t have much of a cushion for the tattoo needle here.

What do you think about tattoos? If you decide to get one, what will the inspiration behind it be?

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