If you are like me, you are intrigued by extremist behaviours. Most times people revel in watching or reading about others that do things unfathomable, dangerous and sometimes life altering things. It is a simple fact of human nature. This is why reality TV has become an astounding craze in modern times, but truly there is no better forum for this than that of Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley's Believe It Or Not.
Tattoo and Piercing have not escaped these reality shows as of late but have been a part of both Guinness and Ripley's for decades now. Below outlines some of the standouts for both publications in the tattoo category, a plethora of oddity, extremism, pain and ink!
Most Tattooed Person title goes to amazing sideshow performer and body art collector New Zealand's Lucky Diamond Rich who is 100% covered in ink, including underneath of his eyelids, soles of his feet and gums.
Most Tattooed Female title belongs to Julia Gnuse of New York who is over 95% tattooed.
Most Tattoos Done in 24 Hours title goes to Kat Von D, of reality show LA Ink, who tattooed 400 people in 24 hours and raised money for charity at the same time.
Longest Tattoo Session (Team of Two) was done by Dave Fleet who tattooed James Llewellyn for 50 hours and 10 mins.
Most Tattooed Senior (Female) is Isobel Varley of the UK, who has tattooed 93% of her body.
Most Tattooed Senior (Male) is Tom Leppard also of the UK who has tattooed 99.9% of his body.
Canadian Rick Genest (Rico the Zombie Boy) has the title of Most Insects Tattooed on the Body, with 176 insects in total. He also holds the title for Most Bones Tattooed On The Body with 134.
Ripley's Believe It or Not
On top of many of the next individuals being a part of the Guinness Book of World Records, they also hold impressive ranking with Ripley's Believe It Or Not for being "oddities". Mexican Jose Maria Kristerna has graced this publication. Known as the Mexican Vampire Woman, she is heavily adorned with piercings, implants and a multitude of tattoos to give her the appearance of a true Vampire.
Eric Sprague, the Lizard Man is also a know Ripley's feature who has continuous tattoo, pointed teeth, a forked tongue and a host of body adornment.
Dennis Avner, also known as the Human Cat, has not only tattooed cat features on his body but also modified himself to resemble a tiger.
The Enigma is a well-known face on the Sideshow circuit; he is also very heavily inked with puzzle type art.
Rico the Zombie Boy (Rick Genest) is featured in Ripley's for transforming his body into the decrepit figure of a Zombie after living through a surgery that should have either taken his life or left him in a vegetative state.
Milenko Pashershash Bukovich was in Ripley's for the host of Julia Roberts tattoos that he has on his body, something that he plans to continue as long as space and money allow.
In 2009 Isabelle Varley was considered the Most Tattooed Woman, now surpassed but her body was 73% covered at the time.
These are just some of the amazing people that have graced either or both the Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley's Believe It Or Not and have also become infamous for the extreme modifications and tattoos that have transformed their bodies, or work they have done to transform others.
Again, it is fascinating to see these transformations and know that people exist beyond borders and concepts of the average. Although it may not be something that most of us would consider challenging ourselves to do, each of these individuals journeys should be admired and respected as choice and freedom to act upon that which fulfills them.
Writer: Morbid Molly