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A Peek at Some Unique and Extreme Tattoos

Updated on February 23, 2010

 People with tattoos can be found everywhere. The indigenous people called Ainu, traditionally wore facial tattoos. Today these facial tattoos are not uncommon in places like Tamazgha in North Africa, Maori in New Zealand, East-Turkey, and Atayal in Taiwan. Tattooing is deep rooted in tribal groups found in Taiwan, Philippines, Borneo, Mentawai Islands, Africa, North America, South America, Mesoamerica, Europe, Japan, Cambodia, New Zealand, and Micronesiana. It has grown in popularity, and continues to be practiced my many worldwide.

 The word tattoo and the concept of tattooing was introduced to Europe by sailors on voyages. The word changed in English to be known as tattoo, but originated from the Polynesian word tatau from the 18th century. The Polynesian practice became popular among European sailors, before spreading to Western societies in general. Tattooing in Japan has been thought to go back as far as 10,000 years ago.

Tattoos have long served as symbolic marks of bravery, pledges of love, religious and spiritual devotion, status, rank, sexual lures, fertility, etc. within many different cultures. Today, there are many different reasons of why people are wearing tattoos. For some it's an individual way of displaying uniqueness and a passion for the art. Some have sentimental values, while others use it as a form of cosmetics. You can now also find tattoos being done in the medical field to ensure proper location of treatment for patients undergoing radiationtherapy.

Did You Know?

  • In 1991, a 5,000 year-old frozen man was discovered and scientists found a total of 57 different tattoos on his well preserved body.

  • The tattooing machine is based on the design of the modern doorbell.

  • Among Americans with tattoos, 34% said having a tattoo has made them feel sexier. Interestingly, more tattooed females (42%) feel this way than males (25%).

  • The world’s most tattooed person is Tom Leppard from the Isle of Skye, Scotland, who has 99.9 per cent of his body covered with a leopard-skin design. Guinness World Records states that the only parts of Tom’s body that remain untattooed are the skin between his toes and the insides of his ears.

  • In the late-18th and early-19th centuries collecting tattooed Maori heads became so popular in Europe that many Maoris were murdered to supply the trade.
    The Maori people in New Zealand tattooed their heads (moko) and buttocks by chiselling a design into the skin and rubbing ink into it. Europeans considered these heads to be curiosities and before long a trade sprang up, with the Maori exchanging heads for firearms. Soon the Maori began to trade the heads of their enemies killed in battle, but when demand started to exceed supply, men began to be murdered in cold blood for their tattoos.

Though tattooing has definitely made it's mark in history, it still remains to be of popular interest among people all over the world. Displayed next, are some tattoos of unique and extreme quality.

This hub was inspired by TattoGuy, be sure to check him out for more great hubs on tattoos!

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    • _cheryl_ profile image
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      _cheryl_ 6 years ago from California

      Thanks bellawritter! :)

    • bellawritter23 profile image

      Erica Sanchez 6 years ago from California

      I loved this hub. Ya know I have to still hide my tattoos from my mom and grandma.... They will burn them off of me good write here thanks for sharing.

    • _cheryl_ profile image
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      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Thanks jasonycc, they're great unique tattoos aren't they! Definitely check out TattoGuy, he's awesome!

    • jasonycc profile image

      jasonycc 7 years ago from South East Asia

      Awesome. I like the colourful dragon and phoenix tatoos. Will check out TattoGuy in a minute. Thanks.

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Hi mikielikie! Thanks, I agree when done right a tattoo can be very sexy. =)

    • mikielikie profile image

      mikielikie 7 years ago from Texas

      I love your hub! That said...I think tattoos are sexy when done right. I like the hands...so pretty.

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Thanks hypnodude! I appreciate your comment. I always find great pleasure in being able to share info that may be new to others. I'm glad you stopped by to check this out. =)

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrea 7 years ago from Italy

      TattoGuy is simply great, but as regards tattoos I have to say that this hub is very good too. I didn't know anything about Maori's heads trade. And great tattoo suits pictures. Thumbs up.

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Thanks betherann, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yeah, I was amazed by the tongue tattoo myself!

    • betherann profile image

      Beth Morey 7 years ago from Montana

      Wow! These are amazing. Although the tongue tattoo made me flinch a bit -- that one must have hurt! I wonder if its owner could taste it...

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      I'm so glad you liked it! Back at 'cha TattoGuy! =)

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      Loved this hub _cheryl_ and then saw the link to my hubs, awwww cheers for that, loves ya to bits x

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Thanks lovelypaper, there are many amazing ones out there. Glad you took the time to see them! =)

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 7 years ago from Virginia

      Wow, these are amazing! Great display of tats.

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      I agree LeonJane, I was amazed when I saw that myself! I had a curiosity about tonge piercing and had it done twice myself, but I'm not too sure about tonge tatooing...thanks for checking this out. =)

    • LeonJane profile image

      LeonJane 7 years ago from Australia

      That tongue tattoo is quite crazy, imagine the pain!

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Thanks for checking it out entertainmentplus!

    • entertianmentplus profile image

      entertianmentplus 7 years ago from United States

      some wild tattoos liked the hub a lot