14 Facts About Tattoos

Tattoos are intriguing to some and a must have for others. Here are some tattoo facts for you.

1. According to a survey, more women than men in the US have tattoos.

When it comes to getting inked, 59 percent of women have tattoos compared to 41 percent of men, according to a new poll released by the Oxygen Network and Lightspeed Research. What’s more, 40 percent of women made their tattoo experience a shared one, often getting inked with friends and loved ones. Apparently women use the “bring-a-buddy” approach to tattoo parlors, just like they do with public bathrooms.  See more from the survey here.

Cool tattoos for men and women, getting inked with a friend
Cool tattoos for men and women, getting inked with a friend

2. To mix tattoo color, urine was used sometimes.

Mixed with coal dust, urine was used in some cultures for tattooing. You have to wonder as to who thought of this combination - not to mention how and why.

"Hey look! You peed in the coal dust." - "Yeah... Hey, I know! Let's get a sharp object, coat the tip in some of my coal-pee, and scratch it into your skin!" - "Dude!"

Todays Tattoo inks consist of pigments combined with a carrier. Tattoo inks are available in a range of colors that can be thinned or mixed together to produce other colors and shades. Most professional tattoo artists purchase inks pre-made (known as pre-dispersed inks), while some tattooers mix their own using a dry pigment and a carrier.

Recent from Tattoo Ideas

Pigment bases: Manufacturers are not required to reveal their ingredients or conduct trials, and recipes may be proprietary. Professional inks may be made from iron oxides (rust), metal salts, plastics. Homemade or traditional tattoo inks may be made from pen ink, soot, dirt, blood, or other ingredients. Heavy metals used for colors include mercury (red), lead (yellow, green, white), cadmium  (red, orange, yellow), nickel (black), zinc (yellow, white), chromium (green), cobalt (blue), aluminium (green, violet), titanium (white), copper (blue, green), iron (brown, red, black),  and barium (white). Metal oxides used include ferrocyanide and ferricyanide (yellow, red, green, blue). Organic chemicals used include  azo-chemicals (orange, brown, yellow, green, violet) and naphtha-derived chemicals (red). Carbon (soot or ash) is also used for black. Other elements used as pigments include antimony, arsenic, beryllium, calcium, lithium, selenium, and sulphur. Tattoo ink manufacturers typically blend the heavy metal pigments and/or use lightening agents (such as lead or titanium) to reduce production costs.

Carriers: A carrier acts as a solvent for the pigment, to “carry” the pigment from the point of needle trauma to the surrounding dermis. Carriers keep the ink evenly mixed and free from pathogens and aid application. The most typical solvent is ethyl alcohol or water, but denatured alcohols, methanol, rubbing alcohol, propylene glycol, and glycerine are also used. When an alcohol is used as part of the carrier base in tattoo ink or to disinfect the skin before application of the tattoo, it increases the skin's permeability, helping to transport more chemicals into the bloodstream.

Other tattoo inks such as Glow in the dark ink and blacklight inks have been used for tattooing. Glow in the dark ink absorbs and retains light, and then glows in darkened conditions by process of phosphorescence. Blacklight ink does not glow in the dark, but reacts to non-visible UV-light, producing a visible glow by fluorescence. The resulting glow of both these inks is highly variable. The safety of such inks for use on humans is widely debated in the tattoo community.

The ingredients in some "glow" inks are listed as: (PMMA) Polymethylmethacrylate 97.5% and microspheres of fluorescent dye 2.5% suspended in UV sterilized, distilled water. Want to see some of these tattoos? check out Glow in the dark and UV light tattoos.

Glow in the dark tattoo
Glow in the dark tattoo

3. Your skin is pierced 50 to 3000 times per minute by the tattoo machine when you get a tattoo.

To get a better understanding of how much that is - check out this amazing video.

4. The philosopher Confucius was against tattoos because he propagated that the human body is a gift. However, China’s stone sculptures depict men with tattoos on their faces as early as the 3rd century BC.

Tattoo quote
Tattoo quote

5. Plato was of the opinion that persons guilty of sacrilege must be tattooed forcibly.

Punishment with tattoos
Punishment with tattoos

6. Most tattooed men.

The second most tattooed person has tattoos on 99.9% of his skin, with leopard skin patterns. He is from Scotland. The most tattooed person is 100% tattooed. Lucky Diamond Rich (born Gregory Paul Mclaren in 1971) is "the world's most tattooed person" (a title formerly held by Tom Leppard), and has tattoos covering his entire body, including the inside of his eyelids, mouth, ears and foreskin. He holds the Guinness World Record as of 2006, being 100 percent tattooed.  A top ten of the most tattooed men in the world – check them out here.

Most Tattooed Man, Lucky Diamond Rich, Guinness World Record as of 2006
Most Tattooed Man, Lucky Diamond Rich, Guinness World Record as of 2006

7. Americans spend a staggering $1.65 billion on tattoos each year!

8. The most popular tattoo images are angels and hearts.

Angel tattoo
Angel tattoo

Check out some awesome Angel tattoos and Heart tattoos.

9. A tattoo is etched in the second layer of the skin, the dermis. The cells of the dermis are more stable than those of the epidermis.

Want to know more about the different skin layers - click here.

10. ‘Tattoo’ is one of the most misspelled words in the English language. Want to se some fun misspelled tattoos check these ones out.

Misspelled tattoos
Misspelled tattoos

Some of the funniest tattoo misspellings include “Beautiful Tradgedy”, “Tradgey/Comedy”, “Fuck the Systsem”, “I’m Awsome”, “Sweet Pee”, “Tomarrow Never Knows”, “Leave a coment below”, “Exreme”, and “Eat & Drink Today Fore We Die Tomorrow”.

11. Women are more likely to get their tattoos removed as compared to men.

12. ‘Holiday’ is the name given to the area where the color of the tattoo has faded.

13. Laser surgery is the most effective tattoo removal technique. Black is the easiest color to get rid off as it absorbs a greater number of laser waves. Green and yellow are the most difficult to remove.

Tattoo removal
Tattoo removal

If you would like to learn more about laser removal click here.

14. Rocker Tommy Lee made a world record when he became the first man to be tattooed mid air in 2007. His name entered the Guinness Book of Records.

Tattooed In The Air - entered the Guinness Book Of Records
Tattooed In The Air - entered the Guinness Book Of Records

More fun and wierd facts about tattoos click here.

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