If you’re anything like me, you spend a good chunk of your idle time imagining horrific ways to die. History is filled to the brim with horrendous methods of execution, but perhaps none is more unpleasant sounding than being nailed to a cross.
Crucifixion can trace its origins to the ancient Greeks. The first recorded mention of a crucifixion comes to us from the Greek historian Herodotus in a description of the execution of a Persian general. This first gruesome death begat many, many more as it remained a popular method of execution for many centuries.
Let’s take a look at the mechanics of death by crucifixion. Firstly, a victim is affixed to a wooden cross by nails through their wrists and often ankles. These wounds were hardly ever enough to be fatal, so you had no choice but to chill out on the cross until death. Depending on one’s health and the environment in which the crucifix was erected, this could take days.
The actual cause of death from being crucified is a veritable wheel of fortune, with possible outcomes such as heart failure, cardiac rupture, asphyxia, acidosis, sepsis, dehydration, or even being eaten by a hungry animal that has wandered by. Most victims remained conscious until whatever form of death fate had in store took them. And this was not a comfortable sort of chilling. Aside from the nail wounds, the body slumps and redistributes pressure in terrible ways. Sure, you’re hanging out, but it is most definitely not cool. Oh, and don’t think you’re not shitting yourself on the cross. You’re totally shitting yourself on the cross.
Crucifixions were often very public displays, and with little other entertainment recourse, ancient couples passed many a weekend with crucifixion and chill. It seemed like everyone loved a good crucifixion, but eventually it just sort of fell out of style and was replaced by more inventive public executions, such as the guillotine.
Now, here’s what we don’t get – why are so many people getting tattoos of this ancient execution device? Surely, nothing good ever came from crucifixion, but people just seemingly rush out en masse to adorn their bodies with tattoo ink depicting murderous wood? We’ve assembled some pictures of these twisted individuals in hopes of finding an answer.
Well, we still have literally no clue why a crucifix makes for such a popular tattoo. Perhaps some mysteries are best left unsolved. Just imagine where Robert Stack’s career would be if this weren’t the case.