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     Tattoo Fun Facts

  • In Texas it's illegal to tattoo an unconscious person.

  • 10 - The number of magazines in the U.S. devoted exclusively to the art of tattooing and body piercing.

  • Many crew members on Captain James Cook's first Pacific expedition (1768-1771) had tattoos.

  • Captain William Bligh, of the infamous "Mutiny on the Bounty," made a list of his men's tattoos so that suspected mutineers could be identified.

  • In some U.S. states, a person can become a tattoo artist by taking a course and being certified by the Alliance of Professional Tattooists.

  • In 13th century China, tattooing was used to brand criminals.

  • The oldest tattooed body known is a Bronze Age man over 5,000 years old, discovered in a glacier in the mountains near Austria.

  • The most common body area for tattooing is the upper or lower arm.

  • Since there is no inspection or regulation of tattoo pigment manufactured in the United States, a tattooist may inject pigment mixtures of unknown safety into the skin.

  • There is evidence that tattooing was carried out as long ago as the Ice Age (before 8000 B.C.).

  • Tattooing is illegal in 7 states in the U.S. and is heavily regulated in others.

  • Lease painful areas to get a tattoo are the fleshy parts of the arms and legs. Areas near joints (wrists, elbows, knees, ankles) hurt most because more nerves are located there.

  • Siberian tribesmen practice tattooing to relieve pain in the area of the design.

  • 19th century seafarers had their initials tattooed on their bodies for identification purposes.

  • "Tattoo" comes from "ta," the Polynesian word for knocking or striking, and may represent the "tat-tat" sound made by hitting the tattooing tool.

  • The most tattooed man in the world is Tom Leppard of the Isle of Skye, Scotland. He sports a leopard-skin design on a yellow background over 99.2% of his body.

  • Tattoos take about 2-3 weeks to heal.

  • Sunlight will fade a tattoo over time.

  • Japanese women, dragons, flowers, animals and butterflies were common tattoos among U.S. sailors shortly before World War I.

  • Tattooing was used extensively by the Incas, Mayas, and Aztecs in Central and South America.

  • Strip artist Krystyne Kolorful of Canada, the world's most tattooed woman, took 10 years to complete her tattooing.

  • Traditional tattooists in Japan are highly trained artists, who work with the shape of the body to enhance the design.

  • A 90's trend in the U.S.: Using tattoos as permanent eye-liner.

  • Business among tattoo parlors in San Francisco, California, has doubled in the 90s.

  • Tattooing was a common practice in ancient Egypt.

  • Tattooing was banned in New York City in the 1960s, after an outbreak of hepatitis B was traced to unsterilized equipment used in tattoo parlors.

  • 14,000: The number of tattoos on the body of Bernard Moeller, the world record holder for the most individual tattoos.

  • A tattooed mummy of an Iron Age warrior chief, found near the Russian/Chinese border was decorated with interlocking designs representing fantastic beasts.

  • Maori women of New Zealand tattoo their faces to hide the lines of aging.

  • In 18th century Japan, laborers used tattoos to imitate clothing because they were ashamed to expose their naked torsos when working in hot weather.


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