With large tattoos being so popular these days, and standard piercings not as shocking as they once were, it takes a lot of body modification to really stand out from the crowd. No longer will a fully inked sleeve and a pierced nose/lip/eyebrow make people stare in amazement at you in the street; if you want that effect now, you have to start considering some extreme mods: Transdermal and microdermal implants, forked tongues, saline injections, scarification… the human body can now be customized to an incredible extent.
But who are the people that have taken the art of body modification to its limits? And what are the most extreme procedures ever seen in this field? Whether done for artistic or self-expression, shock value, aesthetic reasons, or religious beliefs, here are 16 of the most unbelievable examples of extreme body modification.
Lucky Diamond Rich (born Gregory Paul Mclaren) currently holds the Guiness Book of records title as being ‘The world’s most tattooed person’, with an incredible 100% of his body covered with ink. That includes the inside of his eyelids, mouth, and intimate areas. Rich is a performance artist, whose talents include sword swallowing and a mastery of the unicycle.
Lucky admits to being a obsessive-compulsive, who, in 2003, decided he wanted to become the world’s most tattooed man; a feat which he achieved in a mere two years. Now that his entire body is covered with ink, Rich is having a white design tattooed over the top of all that black, and is subsequently adding coloured tattoos on top of the white!
Not all body modifications involve piercing the skin in one way or another. Here is Cathie Jung, holder of the Guinness Book of Record’s title for having the world’s smallest waist, measuring an unbelievable 15 inches in diameter while wearing her corset (which is apparently 24 hours a day!) Even on the rare occasions when Cathie isn’t in her tightly laced up clothing, her waist is still an amazing 21 inches in diameter.
This feat of waist shrinkage was achieved by gradually decreasing the size of the corsets Cathie has worn over the years. As she’s been doing this for over 50 years now, it’s understandable how she’s managed to achieve such an eye-popping figure. Although the practice isn’t without it risks: the continual shrinking of the waist causes the internal organs to move around in order to find more space. It can also result in the lungs being squashed to a smaller than normal size, making breathing difficult. The things people endure in the name of fashion.