Today’s list presents 25 Surprising Facts About Tattoos That You Probably Didn’t Know! There’s no doubt that we live in one of the most progressive eras in history. Our society is more open to different cultures and trends than ever before.
Tattoos have been around for thousands of years and they haven’t always been viewed negatively. In certain societies, tattoos symbolized something sacred or even honorable. Nowadays, many people see tattoos as works of art or as a way to enhance one’s beauty.
Still, there are those who see them in a dark light. In their minds, tattoos represent prison life, gangs, drug use, and racist organizations among other bad things. So, are you one of those people who want to get a tattoo but are skeptical about it? The following 25 Surprising Facts About Tattoos That You Probably Didn’t Know will enlighten you enough to make the right decision.
The Tyrolean Iceman, also known as Ötzi, has the oldest tattoos on his well-preserved skeleton. He has a black cross on the inside of his left knee, six straight lines on his lower back, and parallel lines on his ankles, legs, and wrists.
When scientists X-rayed his body, they discovered joint disease under each tattoo. This led them to believe that these tattoos were meant to relieve his pain.
The word tattoo derives from the Polynesian word ta. Ta in Polynesian languages describes the sound of a tattooing spike being hit against skin. The first recorded reference to the word tattoo is in the papers of Joseph Banks, a naturalist aboard Captain Cook’s ship. Europeans called tattoos “marks” or “prics” until then.
Ancient methods for tattoo removal included the use of scum from the bottom of a chamber pot, mixed with very strong vinegar. Pigeon feces mixed with vinegar and applied as a poultice “for a long time,” was another popular solution.
The Greeks learned tattooing from the Persians. They mainly used tattoos to mark slaves and criminals so they could be identified if they escaped. The Romans learned it from the Greeks and would tattoo “fug” on the foreheads of slaves, for “fugitive.”
Tattooing wasn’t viewed positively in Eastern Europe either. Especially in the Byzantine Empire. The Greek emperor Theophilus for example, took revenge on two monks who had publicly criticized him by having eleven verses of obscene iambic pentameter tattooed on their foreheads.
Rock star Tommy Lee grabbed a place in the Guinness Book of Records in 2007. How is that related to our list you wonder? Well, he became the first man to be tattooed in midair during a private flight to Miami.
Speaking of Tommy Lee, his ex-wife Pamela Anderson has a history with tattoos too. Actually, she was responsible for the rise in popularity of tattoo armbands in the late ’90’s. How? She was the first celebrity to bear one on Baywatch.
From the middle of the eighteenth century till the early twentieth, tattoos were particularly popular with English and Russian royalty. They were so expensive that only the rich could afford them. When tattoos became more affordable, they started to be deemed “trashy” until the tattoo renaissance in the mid-twentieth century.
Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, had a tattoo of a snake around her wrist. She would cover it with a diamond bracelet for formal occasions. In case you didn’t know, Churchill had an anchor on his forearm.
The most tattooed man in the world is Gregory Paul McLaren, also known as Lucky Diamond Rich. He is 100 percent tattooed, including the inside of his foreskin, mouth, and ears.
The "Disney tattoo guy"
George C. Reiger Jr., also known as the “Disney tattoo guy,” has over one thousand Disney tattoos, including all 101 Dalmatians. He had to get special permission from Disney because the images are copyrighted.
If you’re considering to get a tattoo anytime soon, think about it well. Especially if you can’t handle pain. Your skin will be pierced from about 50 up to 3000 times per minute by the tattoo machine, depending the shape and size of the tattoo you want.