101 Tattoo Facts
1: An Ohio restaurant specializing in cheeseburgers offers a lifetime 25% discount for anyone who has a tattoo of a cheeseburger and at an unrelated tattoo studio in a nearby town, they’re offering a 25% discount on cheeseburger tattoos- Sounds suspicious.
2: Tattoos are rarely done in ink, what is commonly called inks, are actually suspended solid color particles, mostly metal salts and plastics, but not vegetable dyes as commonly believed.
3: There are no reported cases of HIV infection from a tattoo in the U.S., but there are three from dentist’s offices.
4: More women than men are getting tattooed today.
5: Tattoos are considered a minor medical procedure.
6. Until 2006 it was illegal to get a tattoo in Oklahoma
7: Lucky Diamond Rich of New Zealand is the most tattooed person in the world, and after running out of space, has started putting lighter tattoos on top of the darker ones, and vice versa.
8: Robbie “the coon” Koch recently broke the world’s record by inking 577 tattoos in 24 hrs. The old record was held by Kat Von D of the television show, “LA Ink.” Update- Hollis Cantrell actually owns the record as of 2009 (801 tattoos) but Robbie the coon sounded better. Hollis’s final tattoo was on his thigh.
9: The first recorded tattoo is believed to have been found on a mummified iceman in 3300 BC. He had 58 tattoos, mostly dots and lines.
10: In 1876 Thomas Edison invented a machine that ultimately became the tattoo machine, but it took modifications by Samuel O’Reilly in 1891 to adapt the device for tattooing.
11: The record for the longest tattoo session is 43 hours and 50 minutes and was completed by the very observant and talented artist Melanie Grieveson, of Australia. The tattooed was Stephen Grady.
12: In 2005 Kimberly Smith was paid $10,000 to have Golden Palace.Com tattooed on her forehead by the casino, to help pay for her daughter’s education. The casino is noted for its outlandish promotions.
13: Thomas Edison had five dots tattooed on his left forearm, similar to the dots on dice.
14: Lip tattoos only last 1 to 5 years and need to be frequently retouched, the most common a cosmetic lip liner.
15: The second most common reason for tattoo removal is mistranslation.
16: In 2010 Channel will unveil its new line of fashionable temporary tattoos. The set of 55 tattoos sells for $75.
17: Most Tattoo machines hold between 1 and 10 needles and some ancient methods using rakes hold up to 27.
18: Anil Gupta is considered NYC’s most expensive tattoo artist at over $350 per hour.
19: In the majority of cases, the outline of a tattoo shouldn’t bleed at all, and the shading for only a few minutes.
20: As of 2006, 1 in 4 women aged 18 to 50 have at least one tattoo.
21: U.S. President James Polk is said to be the first white man to have a Chinese character as a tattoo.
22: A brothel in Cologne, Germany is offering any patron who gets a tattoo of the businesses logo, by their in house artist, free entrance for life ($6.25 US) and discounts on lap dances ($25.00 US. ea)
25: The word “tattoo” has been in the top ten searched terms since Lycos started tracking search engines.
26: Democrats are more likely to have a tattoo then republicans, 18% to 14%.
27: January 23, 2010. A new US Marine Corp directive prohibits anyone with a full sleeve tattoo from becoming an officer. It also prohibits tattoos on the hands, wrists, fingers, and the inside of the mouth.
28: July 17th, 2009. 18 year old Kimberly Vlaminck sues a Romanian tattoo artist over the 56 stars that she awoke to, scattered across her face, 53 more than see asked for. She later admitted that she lied in the lawsuit and had asked for all fifty six.
29: Blues singer Janis Joplin had a wristlet tattoo and a small heart on her left breast.
30: In Oregon, it is a felony to practice tattooing without a license or in an unlicensed shop.
31: Heiress and socialite Paris Hilton had one tattoo to her credit, the name of then boyfriend Nick Carter on her right butt cheek. It has since been removed by laser.
32: The traditional Samoan tattoo, pe’a, covering the body from mid torso to the knees, takes 3 months to complete and up to 1 year to fully heal. A typical session lasts from dawn till dusk, or until the pain becomes too great, and resumes the next day unless the skin needs a few days to heal.
33: In a 2002 survey, 8 of the top 10 voted, “most beautiful people in the world” had tattoos.
34: Tattoos done today don’t turn blue when they age, unless they were originally blue, the inks are much more stable.
35: The first occurrence of the word tattoo in the Oxford English Dictionary came in 1769 and is credited to Captain John Cook.
36: A rooster tattooed on one leg and a pig on the other is said to protect a sailor from drowning. Neither animal can swim.
37: Queen Kamamalu of Hawaii (1808-1824) was the first woman to have her tongue tattooed.
38: Most tattoo artists will not tattoo a pregnant woman.
39: Some tattoo artists claim that if you shield a new tattoo from sunlight for the first two years it will remain brighter and clearer for decades.
40: Over 40 million people in the U.S. have tattoos.
41: 26% of Americans with a tattoo say they make them feel more attractive, with women voting that way almost 2 to 1 over men.
42: Tommy Lee of Motley Crue holds the record for highest altitude tattoo, having been inked in 2008 at 45,000 feet. The tattoo was said to cost $150,000 dollars.
43: 73 year old Isobel Valley, the world’s most tattooed women, has every square inch of her body tattooed, except her face, and also has fifty piercings, 15 of which are visible. The majority of the piercings are below the belt because she wants to jingle when she walks, she says.
44: An increasing number of people are having medical alerts tattooed to aid doctors in case of an emergency.
45: 43 year old former soldier Shawn Clark has the names of all 232 British soldiers killed in Afghanistan tattooed on his back.
46: At one time red ink was known to fade; not so with today’ inks.
47: The title of The “Hardy Boys” #47 is “The Mystery of the Whale Tattoo.”
48: When Cortez landed on the Mexican coast in 1519 he was horrified to find the natives practicing devil worshiping and had somehow permanently marked images of their idols on their skin. He called it the work of the devil.
49: A tattoo of an anchor on a sailor indicates they have sailed across the Atlantic.
50: One third of Americans with tattoos say they make them feel sexier.
51: Tattoo ink is injected into the second layer of the skin, the dermis, and become encapsulate by the body as a defense mechanism, leaving the image stable and intact.
52: Gabrial Carbona, an American teenage hit man for a Mexican cartel, has his eyelids tattooed so they never look closed. His idea is not working as well for him in prison.
53: Jimmy Buffet sings about tattoos in this song of the same name, “It’s a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling.”
54: In the 1920’s, American circuses employed more than 300 people with full body tattoos and paid them up to $200 a week, a lot of money during those times.
55: The percentage of males and females with tattoos is now statistically equal.
56: Tattoo equipment is sterilized in an autoclave, a high pressure steam machine, similar to a pressure cooker and how hospitals do theirs.
57: 57% of people without a tattoo feel that those with them are more rebellious and threatening.
58: 35 0f the first 43 U.S. Presidents reportedly have tattoos.
59: Tattoo inks are not regulated by the by any government agencies so there is no way of knowing exactly what’s in them.
60: Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, had a tattoo of a snake on her wrist. They were popular for rich aristocrats during that period. She chose a snake because it could be easily covered by a bracelet.
61: U.S. President Andrew Jackson had a giant tattoo of a tomahawk that ran down the length of the inside of his thigh. No one knows exactly why.
62: Almost all U.S. corporations have some form of restrictions or policy regarding tattoos on the job.
63: As of Sept. 29th 2009, the 19 year old ban on tattooing was lifted in DeKalb, Illinois.
64: Actress Halle Berry has a tattoo of a sunflower on her rear end covering up the name of her ex, baseball player David Justice.
65: The popularity of tattooing during the latter part of the nineteenth century and first part of the twentieth century owed much to the circus sideshow.
66: People with antisocial personality disorder are more likely to have a higher number of tattoos in more visible locations, and covering a larger percentage of their bodies.
67: Ancient Egyptians used tattoos to differentiate between slaves and peasants.
68: During the late 18th century in Europe, collecting the tattooed heads of Maori people became so popular that many were murdered to meet the demand. The heads were commonly paid for in guns.
69: In the 1870s the Japanese government outlawed tattoos forcing the practice underground where it flourished.
70: 3% of Americans say having a tattoo makes them feel more athletic.
71: The world’s most tattooed women, Isobel Varley got her first tattoo, a flower, at age 49.
72: 4% of consumers spend over $1000 on a tattoo.
73: When you see someone’s tattoo you are viewing it through the first layer of the skin, the epidermis.
74: 50% of all tattoos are not covered up by clothing and are openly visible.
75: Tattoo machines can make upwards of 200 hits per second, that’s up to 12,000 times a minute and 720,000 an hour.
76: In ancient Greece and Rome, tattoos were considered barbaric and were only used to mark slaves and criminals.
77: 52% of those in prison are tattooed.
78: In recent studies, memorial tattoos have been shown to overwhelmingly turn grief into joy and morning into celebration by creating a lasting memory.
79: A 2009 study conducted at Liverpool Hope University found that people with three or more tattoos had significantly lower levels of self esteem.
80: 4% of Americans say that their tattoos make them feel healthier.
81: It is untrue that white or lighter colored inks are more painful to use.
82: A tattoo is art, only, if the person doing the tattoo is an artist and a skilled technician.
83: President James Buchanon had a tattoo of a scantily clad woman on his chest with the initials BFL (bachelor for life).
84: In 2002, 18 year old hair dresser Lee Becks was shocked to find out the tattoo he thought said, “Love, honor, and obey” actually translated to, “at the end of the day, this is an ugly boy.”
85: New York City outlawed tattoos from 1961 to 1997 because of a tattoo related outbreak of hepatitis “C”.
86: In a 2002 study a group of male high school and college students viewed pictures of models with and without tattoos, and graded them in 13 categories. The models with tattoos scored much lower in 9 of the 13 ratings.
87: Some people experience pain or a burning during sensation during an MRI because of the metallic particles in some inks.
88: The US Navy prohibited tattoos of naked women during World War II, so many future sailors had to get their tattoos reworked to include cloths.
89: The first recorded instance of death following tattooing was reported in 1837 in France. The young woman, a prostitute, was covering up another unwanted tattoo and died from the infection that followed.
90: Apr. 30, 2009. To celebrate Barbie’s 50th birthday Mattel comes out with the new “Totally Stlylin’ Barbie, complete with a set of place able tattoos, one a lower back tattoo featuring the name Ken.
91: 35% of all NBA players have tattoos. Michael Jordan has none and teammate Dennis Rodman has at least 22.
92: Lorette Fulkerson was the last woman to work the circus sideshows, retiring in 1995 at the age of 80.
93: Eyeball tattoos are not done with a machine, but rather, the ink is directly injected into the eye with a syringe.
94: Urine was sometimes used in early ink mixtures.
95: 5% of Americans with a tattoo say they make them feel smarter.
96: The first case of a syphilis being transmitted by a tattoo came in 1853. The artists ink was drying up so he spit in it, transferring the disease.
97: Never go back to the person who gave you a bad tattoo to have it fixed, it will not get better.
98: The time to ask questions is before you get a tattoo.
99: Good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good.
100: Women are more than twice as likely to have a tattoo removed as men.
101: Over 50% of the tattoos created today will be removed by laser at great expense, intense pain and permanent minor scaring. Think before you ink.