Europe's oldest human mummy, more than 5,000 years old, has 61 well-preserved tattoos - likely made using soot or ash. The tattoo profession has come a long way since those days of Otzi the Iceman, but one thing hasn't changed: the ink sticks pretty much forever, so when the process goes wrong, the tattoo-ee will have horror stories to tell for a long time.
Tattoo horror stories might involve side effects a first-timer wasn't expecting, or perhaps the tattoo artist was so shocked by a request they ended up making a mess of it. On Reddit, many tattoo recipients were willing to talk about what can go wrong when other Redditors prodded, "Tell me a tattoo story."
From misspelled words to misshapen crosses and misguided designs, tattooed people with marks they regret shared their tales of inked woe.
From Redditor /u/WonderWeeble:
Asked for a rose, got a cabbage.
From Redditor /u/ThisWormWillTurn:
I was a wee 16-year-old lad watching my big bro getting inked in [a Los Angeles] tattoo parlor. His buddy was watching as well, and jokingly said, "Are you ready? Because you're next." The owner of the shop did not bat an eye and nodded. I was shocked and super stoked.
I fumbled through books and carefully studied the art displayed on his walls, but finally settled on a Jesus design. To my surprise, the shoulder tat barely hurt...
Some 20 years later, and several tattoos later, [the] Jesus tat is the only one I regret. One reason is that I am agnostic and have been the better part of my life. Sixteen-year-old me didn't know much of anything.
The other, more obvious reason is that Jesus is f*cking cross-eyed. I went back to get it fixed, but it just got worse. He looks like a sad, cross-eyed, bloodied, beardy uncle.
From a former Redditor:
Well, my buddy wanted to get a tattoo while drunk, and wanted it to say “In vino veritas,” but he spelled it “En veeno varies” or something like that. He never made it clear if he wrote it for the artist, and wrote it wrong, or if he sounded it out and the guy just spelled it wrong.
Either way, he got it removed a few months later because he was sick of being mocked.
From Redditor /u/garbage-human420:
So I was in college and took a road trip with friends. We ended up somewhere near Los Angeles, CA. We went clubbing... Toward the end of the trip, one of my friends wanted a tattoo, so f*ck it, me too. I decided on a blue daisy straight between my [breasts]. After a quick trip to Walmart for some nipple pasties, off we go.
So we got there, and the guy started drawing up my design. He was pretty professional... Tattoo was done; it looked great...
I got back to my dorm, [and] about 14ish-plus hours after the tattoo... I took my shirt off and found out I was allergic to the adhesive in the nipple pasties. I figured the best course of action would be to just [rip] it off as fast as I could like a Band-Aid... and I promptly ripped all the skin off around my nipple... I cried for my roommate, who then had to come help me figure out how to save my other nipple. The end.