Ghost stories from every culture usually involve leftover spirits haunting graveyards and cemeteries making a nuisance of themselves and generally ruining teenagers' make-out sessions. But if spooks haunt the place where their last earthly remains lie, then we're all about to get haunted a lot more frequently.
Break out your tinfoil hats and ghost-repelling spray because people are getting tattooed with ink that contains human ashes and hair. This takes the idea of a memorial tattoo to a new level, right? They're calling the art “morbid ink,” according to Motherboard, arguing baked ashes are basically just glorified carbon anyway — the same substance used in pigmented black ink.
Microbiologist Jason Tetro told Motherboard,
By taking biological material and reducing it to an inert state [through cremation], you are making it safe for injection.
It's not just ashes we're talking about, either. A Swiss company called Skin46 wants to turn the business of bio-tattoos into an everyday phenomenon, using the carbon from a person's hair in ink. That is, after the hair's been cooked at more than 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. According to a 2015 press release, it plans to begin crowdfunding this year.
Because many tattoo artists aren't comfortable with adding human remains to their ink, it's a concept that largely stays out of the media. A quick Google search, though, turns up accounts of morbid ink from nearly 10 years ago.
There isn't any proof bio-tattoos are dangerous, but there isn't any proof they're totally safe, either. Would you want to take a chance on a tattoo that'll be part of your skin forever? Sorry, count me out.
Plus, I'm anxiously awaiting the day ink fanatics begin tattooing their biceps with ink made with their deceased pets' DNA. Why get an ordinary tattoo to commemorate Fluffy when you could mix in his little poodle ashes? Imagine the Instagram likes.
If you try this at home and end up haunted by the ghost of Great Aunt Doris — curlers, terrifying-old-lady nightgown and all — don't say I didn't warn you.