25 Cool Facts You May Not Know About Tattoos


Besides the fact that they’re awesome and they kind of hurt when you get them (depending on your pain tolerance), there are so many other cool facts about tattoos – some of which are pretty surprising. At Wylde Side Tattoos, we love tattoos, we love designing them, applying them, getting them, and learning about new methods or just awesome facts in general. So, we’ve compiled a list of what we find to be some of the more surprising facts about tattoos that we’ve come across recently.


25 Surprisingly Cool Facts about Tattoos

  1. There are about 45 million American’s that have a tattoo. We just thought this was surprising because we thought it’d be a larger number.
  2. Some of the earliest forms of tattoo removal included garlic, wine, lime, or if you were lucky – pigeon feces. No thanks.
  3. In 2012, there were more women that got tattoos than men for the first time. Way to go ladies!
  4. Tattoo ink isn’t regulated or approved by the FDA. So, you want to make sure that when you do get a tattoo, you go to a legitimate tattoo shop that knows what they’re doing instead of the place with their entrance in a sketchy alley.
  5. How long did the longest tattoo session ever last? A grand total of 50 hours and 10 minutes.
  6. If you want to get a tattoo removed, it’s actually easier to remove the black ink rather than colored ink because it absorbed all of the different wave lengths.
  7. On an annual basis, Americans spend a whopping $1.65 billion on tattoos.
  8. Tattoo is actually one of the most misspelled words in the English language. T-A-T-T-O-O.
  9. When you get a tattoo, your skin gets pierced anywhere from 50 to 3,000 times. So, if you tell people you’ve never had a piercing – stop it.
  10. Angels and hearts are the most common tattoos that people get, and oh boy, don’t we know it.
  11. Tommy Lee Jones (the man) was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007 for being the first person to be tattooed mid-air. Decently cool.
  12. Tattoo originally comes from the Polynesian word, “tatau,” which translates to “mark made on skin.” Makes sense.
  13. Theodore Roosevelt actually had a family crest tattooed on his chest. Sounds like a cool president.
  14. There’s an ancient ice man that was found in the Alps named Otzi and he’s the oldest mummy ever to be discovered and have tattoos. Scientists believe that the tattoos were used as a form of acupuncture or pain treatment.
  15. Sailors used to get King Neptune and sea turtle tattoos to express they’ve sailed across the equator.
  16. The first beauty pageant that was televised featured Betty Broadbent – how many tattoos did she have? Over 565 of them!
  17. The world’s most tattooed man is 100% covered in tattoos. The runner up is 99.9% covered.
  18. In NYC it was illegal to get a tattoo between 1961 and 1997 due to a Hepatitis B outbreak.
  19. Getting a tattoo in Oklahoma wasn’t legal until 2006.
  20. That teenager that got those 56 stars tattooed on her face and caused a media frenzy after claiming she only wanted three and was asleep the whole time…? Yeah well, she got all those stars removed after not only lying about it because her dad was furious, but $9,000 worth of laser treatments later.
  21. The richest tattoo artist in the world charges $1,000 an hour and only works on the weekends. Hmm, must be a nice life Scott Campbell.
  22. When social security cards first came out in 1936, several people actually got their numbers tattooed on them.
  23. When there were threats of an attack on the US in 1955, the assistant to the Secretary of Defense encouraged that people get their blood types tattooed on their skin in the event that an actual attack occurred.
  24. Tribal tattoos reign supreme in terms of the most requests. That’s actually not that surprising.
  25. There’s a former U.S. soldier who has the names of all those killed in Afghanistan tattooed on his body. In 2009, he already had over 300 names.