As the years pass, culture and socially accepted practices tend to change. When I got my first tattoo in 2004 it was still considered somewhat socially unacceptable; only "criminals and military personnel" were expected to be heavily inked up. Now, everyone and their grandmothers have decided to take their first steps into a tattoo parlor.
I now find myself in the majority; those people with a tattoo as opposed to not. That being said, there are still levels to a person's dedication to body modification, and some people have taken it to extremes that I would never consider for myself.
Here are 10 of the most heavily tattooed people in the world.
1. Paul Lawrence - The Enigma
Paul Lawrence is more commonly known by his alias, The Enigma. He is a musician, actor and stage performer who has covered himself completely in jigsaw puzzle pieces. He has had over 200 tattoo artists work on him while completing his bodysuit.
2. Kala Kawai
With over 75% of his body completely covered in ink, along with a huge number of implants and piercings, Kala Kawai is someone who is used to being stared at. He owns his own tattoo parlor which explains why he has never been hesitant to continue his body modification journey. You will be excused if you think that he has taken his passion above and beyond what is considered normal.
3. Dennis Avner - The Cat Man
Clearly Mr. Avner is obsessed with both tattoos and cats. He has spent many years of his life making his startling transformation. Not only did he cover his entire body in tiger stripes, but he has also undergone a ton of plastic surgery to complete the look he is going for. He was found dead in November 2012. There are unconfirmed rumors that he may have committed suicide.
4. Tom Leppard - The Leopard Man
Tom Leppard once held the Guinness Book of World Records record for being the world's most tattooed man. In fact, every inch of his body is covered in ink except his fingers and inside his ears. This 78-year-old man currently lives in a cabin on a the Isle of Skype in Scotland.
5. Rick Genest - Zombie Boy
Canadian, Rick Genest, gained infamy when he posted a series of photos of himself online in 2010. He became so widely known that he was even featured in the music video for Lady Gaga's song, "Born This Way." It is easy to see why they call him Zombie Boy.
6. Julia Gnuse - The Illustrated Lady
Julia Gnuse has a condition called porphyria, which causes her skin to blister leaving pretty intense scarring. She chose to get covered in tattoos as a way to "cure" her condition. Well not so much cure it, as opposed to covering up the scars that were all over her body. She is the world record holder as the most tattooed woman in the world.
7. Eric Sprague - The Lizard Man
Eric Sprague loves everything about being a lizard. Not only is his body covered in green "lizard scales" but he also has implanted horns made from Teflon, he has sharpened his teeth into fangs, and he was one of the first men to split his tongue so that it was forked.
8. Etienne Dumont
The famous art critic from Geneva, Switzerland, decided that he wanted to become the topic of discussion. He has covered nearly his entire body in tattooed designs, has had massive facial modification done, including silicone implants under his skin. He considers himself to be a "living piece of art," and he still appears in public to chat with people.
9. Elaine Davidson - World's Most Pierced Woman
Elaine Davidson is covered in hundreds of tattoos, but what makes her exceptionally well known is the fact that she is the world's most pierced woman, sporting nearly 7000 piercings. Born is Brazil, she married a man with absolutely no piercings, and they now live in Scotland where Elaine runs an aromatherapy shop.
10. Lucky Diamond Rich - World's Most Tattooed Man
What do you do when you have completely covered yourself in tattoos? And I mean completely covered, including areas that one would never want a needle around, seriously. Lucky Diamond Rich is a street performer from New Zealand, and Guinness World Records has deemed him to be 100% tattooed.
What would you do if you met one of the individuals on this list?