Extremely Modified People - The Leopard Man
Tom Leppard born Tom Woodbridge, and more commonly known as The Leopard Man, or Leopard Man of Skye has nearly his entire body covered in leopard patterned tattoos. Tom is a former soldier and was also previously the Guinness World Record holder for the world's most tattooed man. That record now belongs to Australian Lucky Rich, but Tom still holds the Guinness record for the most tattooed senior male citizen. Guinness Word Records claims that Tom has 99.9% of his body covered in tattoos with the skin between the dark spots tattooed saffron yellow. Other sources claim he has 99.2% of his body covered. Either way that's not a lot of skin left that hasn't been tattooed.
How much does it cost to tattoo 99.9% of your body? £5,500 British Pounds is the reported figure which is over $8,500 US dollars.
Up until 2008 Tom lived in a small hut on the Isle of Skye, Scotland for 20 years. The hut had no electricity, earthen floors, no windows, metal sheet roofing, and he slept on a bed made from polystyrene board. Tom used to make weekly three mile kayak trips across the fast-flowing Kyles of Lochalsh for supplies. This lifestyle was by choice, "I was in the armed forces for 28 years, and I enjoyed the solitary activities, such as parachute jumping, sailing and canoeing. I made the decision 20 years ago that I wanted to escape the city, which I hated, and to live alone in the highlands of Scotland. I have never been lonely since."
In 2008 at 73 years of age Tom left the isle and moved into a a one bedroom home in the village of Broadford, on Skye. "I had to canoe to Kyle once a week for shopping and it was getting too hard for me - I was one big wave away from disaster. It's a pretty nasty stretch of water."
Why would you want to cover over 99% of your body in tattoos, and leopard print ones? Tom didn't do it for his love of leopards, or because he loved tattoos. He saw it as a way of making money, and he choose the print because it was easy for the tattoo artist to replicate. Tom told The Guardian "I would get an income from being the most tattooed man in the world, and would be photographed for the Guinness Book of Records, or featured on TV. I had a spare set of dentures, shaped like fangs, that I'd put in for the publicity shots. But it was a necessary evil to supplement my income support, or latterly my pension. It's not something I enjoyed."
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