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Uses For Tattoos Throughout History, Other Than Announcing That You Went To Cancun For Spring Break In '04

Punishment
  • The Tat: a vagina on the forehead
  • The Tatted: horny Indian priests
  • Why? To make an example of them
  • If you thought laws were severe in Texas, any Indian priest caught indulging in that most Earthly of pleasure had a big ol' vag etched into his face. Interestingly, people nowadays get vagina tattoos by choice

    Mercy
  • The Tat: A crucifixion scene
  • The Tatted: Unruly British sailors
  • Why? To get out of being whipped
  • There's a reason rappers wear nice suits to court dates. Similarly, British trouble-makers used to get "Jesus on the cross" inked onto their shoulders to make themselves seem like upstanding citizens. That way, religious captains might be less inclined to wail on their back with a whip. I once did a similar experiment by getting a tattoo saying "I Love Cops" right before I stole a car. It didn't work. On the bright side, my cell has high speed Internet so make sure to email me!

    Intimidation
  • The Tat: Some sort of tribal-y thing
  • The Tatted: Noted boxer, cannibal and rapist, Mike Tyson
  • Why? To honor the Mayans?
  • Claiming he was into history, Iron Mike made the unfortunate mistake of telling reporters that his new face tattoo was a Mayan New Zealand symbol. The fact that Mayans were never in New Zealand didn't stop his enthusiasm. Of course, history is the least of Mike's concerns. According to Sports Illustrated, the former heavyweight is currently trying to fight women in the ring, which is nothing new for him besides there being a ring present.

    Secrets
  • The Tat: Coded messages
  • The Tatted: Slaves in ancient Greece
  • Why? Actually costs less than mailing a letter
  • According to Greek Historians, back in 312 BC, Greeks used to shave the hair off their slaves, tattoo a message into the back of their heads, and then wait for the locks to grow back. Once the message was all covered in hair, they'd pack the slave off, and send him running. Of course, this method kind of lost it's purpose if the message was something like, "Come quickly, I need help immediately!" If only slaves could grow hair quicker…

    Advertising
  • The Tat: GoldenPalace.com on the forehead
  • The Tatted: Noted idiot, Karolyne Smith
  • Why? For the green, baby!
  • In need of some quick cash, Karolyne Smith did the first thing any enterprising young American would do, and auctioned off her forehead on e-Bay. After 27,000 visits, online casino GoldenPalace.com outbid everyone with a cool $10,000 offer. Each letter on her forehead is an inch high, and the terms are that she has to leave it there permanently. Still, it beats having a vagina on there…

    For more interesting facts, useless trivia and general mind-stroking sexiness, check out our pals over at MentalFloss.com