The first written reference to the word, “tattoo” (or Samoan “Tatau”) appears in the journal of Joseph Banks, the naturalist aboard Captain Cook’s ship the HMS Endeavour in 1769: “I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humor or disposition”. The art tattooing has been practised for centuries and was mainly used in a tribal decoration and cultural sense. In the 21st century this is still mainly the essence of a tattoo. To make a statement about yourself to others. What a 45-year-old woman with a tramp stamp or an accountant from London with a tribal tattoo are trying to say with their markings is only to be guessed at. The same can be said for these extreme tattoos.

Extreme Tattoos

Mike Curry shows off the tattoos on his hands during the 9th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention in New York May 20, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Extreme Tattoos

Mike Curry shows off the tattoos on his chest during the 9th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention in New York May 20, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Extreme Tattoos

Chuco Caballero shows off the tattoos on his head during the 9th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention in New York May 20, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Extreme Tattoos

Dan Kollmeo shows off the tattoos on his neck during the 9th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention in New York May 20, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Extreme Tattoos

Chuco Caballero shows off the tattoos in his arm pit during the 9th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention in New York May 20, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Extreme Tattoos

A body art artist demonstrates his skills during the 3rd Ukrainian Open Tattoo Bodyart and Piercing Championship in Kiev, February 9, 2007. Dozens of artists from differnt countries came to Kiev to show their art. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Extreme Tattoos

Erik Sprague, also known as the Lizard Man, poses during Ripley's Believe It Or Not ! Odditorium grand opening in Times Square in New York, June 21, 2007. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Extreme Tattoos

Dennis Avner, also known as the Cat Man, poses during Ripley's Believe It Or Not ! Odditorium grand opening in Times Square in New York, June 21, 2007. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Extreme Tattoos

A man shows his tattoo at the first Tattoo Expo in Moscow August 26, 2007. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Extreme Tattoos

Shoko Tendo author of Yakuza Moon poses after an interview with Reuters in Tokyo August 28, 2007. Tendo, 39, the author of Yakuza Moon, a best-selling memoir just out in English, says that police efforts to eradicate the gansters have merely made them harder to track. To match feature: JAPAN-GANGSTERS. Picture taken on August 28, 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Extreme Tattoos

Tattoos are seen on the head of a man at the International London Tattoo Convention, October 5, 2007. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

Extreme Tattoos

Male participants in the traditional fundoshi or loincloth wait for the start of Enoshima midwinter festival in Fujisawa, south of Tokyo January 20, 2008. Hundreds of participants carried the portable shrine in the sea at the festival to celebrate Japan's Coming of Age Day and pray for the safety in the sea. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Extreme Tattoos

A baby in her father's arms looks at a man sporting tattoos at the 27th Frankfurt tattoo convention, one of the world's largest tattoo shows, April 27, 2008. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Extreme Tattoos

A visitor at the 27th Frankfurt tattoo convention, one of the world's largest tattoo shows, sports a new tattoo on her feet April 27, 2008. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Extreme Tattoos

A performer in traditonal religious makeup performs during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Taiwan International Tattoo Convention in Taipei July 30, 2010. The convention which is slated to run from July 30 - August 1 aims to gather people from all over the world to promote the industry and garner positive thinking towards tattoos. REUTERS/Nicky Loh

Extreme Tattoos

Iris, whose husband is a tattoo artist, poses for a portrait with Reuters during the 2010 Taiwan International Tattoo Convention in Taipei July 31, 2010. The convention aims to gather people from all over the world to promote the industry and garner positive thinking towards tattoos. REUTERS/Nicky Loh

Extreme Tattoos

Liu-hsin poses for a portrait with Reuters during the 2010 Taiwan International Tattoo Convention in Taipei July 31, 2010. The convention aims to gather people from all over the world to promote the industry and garner positive thinking towards tattoos. REUTERS/Nicky Loh

Extreme Tattoos

Miljenko Parserisas Bukovic displays some of his 82 tattoos of U.S. actress Julia Roberts during a photo-shoot in Valparaiso city March 9, 2011. Parserisas, 56, started getting tattoos of the actress after watching her film Erin Brockovich. The newspaper vendor, who has spent a million pesos ($2500) for the 82 tattoos of the actress inspired by various scenes in the film, plans to get more tattoos of her on his chest, back and arms as long as there is space and he has the money. REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez

Extreme Tattoos

A man displays his tattoo during an international tattoo exhibition in Budapest March 12, 2011. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Extreme Tattoos

Mexican tattoo artist Maria Jose Cristerna, known as Mujer Vampiro (Vampire Woman), attends a photo opportunity during the Expo Tatuaje international tattoo expo in Monterrey April 3, 2011. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

Extreme Tattoos

Soccer fan Martin Hueschen, 41, from Dortmund admires in the mirror his new tattoo of Germany's soccer trophy and Borussia Dortmund soccer club coach Juergen Klopp, at a tattoo shop in Unna April 20, 2011. With four games still to be played and an eight-points advantage, Borussia Dortmund is expected to win this season's German first division Bundesliga soccer trophy. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Extreme Tattoos

Reinhold, 50, from Germany whose body is covered with tattoos, looks at photographers at the 6th Artline Tattoo festival in Bruges, northern Belgium November 11, 2000. Tattoo and percing artists from all around Europe took part in the 2-day festival.

Extreme Tattoos

A visitor displays her tattooed feet as she walks around an international tattoo exhibition in east London, October 7, 2005. Over one hundred and fifty tattoo artists are displaying traditional and contemporary tattooing methods.REUTERS/Toby Melville

Extreme Tattoos

Isobel Varley from Britian, displays some of her tattoos during the 18th Tattoo Convention in Berlin December 5, 2008. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele

Extreme Tattoos

A man is questioned by German police during protests by the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) supporters and leftwing activists in Hamburg September 11, 2009. Several hundred leftwing protesters tried to disturb a demonstration by far-right NPD supporters in Hamburg on Friday. REUTERS/Christian Charisius

Extreme Tattoos

A man shows off his tattoo during Dutdutan (Poking) festival in Makati's financial district of Manila September 18, 2009. The annual festival aims to promote the tattoo industry and stop the discrimination against tattooed individuals.REUTERS/John Javellana

Extreme Tattoos

A man displays a tattoo on the back of his head for photographers during the Singapore Tattoo Show January 9, 2009. The show is the first of its kind to be held in the city-state and brings together artists from Asia, the U.S., Canada and Europe over three days from Friday to Sunday. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Extreme Tattoos

An unidentified man from Budapest sporting a tattoo on the back of his head, attends a tattoo convention in Frankfurt. An unidentified man from Budapest sporting a tattoo on the back of his head, attends the 13th International tattoo convention in Frankfurt May 8, 2005. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Extreme Tattoos

A performer from the U.S. known asThe Enigma pulls a nail out of his nasal cavity during the inauguration of the International Tattoo Convention in Lima November 23, 2007. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

Extreme Tattoos

A man poses during his visit of the '17th International Tattoo Convention' in Berlin December 7, 2007. The convention starts on December 7 and runs until Sunday in the German capital. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

Extreme Tattoos

Chinese tattoo enthusiast Liu Ming shows a tattoo of the Beijing Olympic rings on his forehead before adding another Olympic torch design on his body at a tattoo shop in Beijing July 10, 2008. With more than 200 tattoos on his body, Liu is squeezing in one more tattoo, an Olympic torch, on his body that is nearly fully covered with tattoos. The 44-year-old man hopes to commemorate the 2008 Olympic Games by tattooing more Beijing Olympic related images on his body. REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV

Extreme Tattoos

Chinese tattoo enthusiast Liu Ming smokes while taking a break from a tattoo session at a shop in Beijing July 10, 2008. With more than 200 tattoos on his body, Liu is squeezing in one more tattoo, an Olympic torch, on his body that is nearly fully covered with tattoos. The 44-year-old man hopes to commemorate the 2008 Olympic Games by tattooing more Beijing Olympic related images on his body. REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV

Extreme Tattoos

An England's soccer fan arrives at Berlin's Schoenefeld airport November 19, 2008. Germany plays a friendly soccer match against England on Wednesday. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Extreme Tattoos

Septuagenarian Isobel Varley poses during II Expotatoo tattoo fair in Gijon, northern Spain, May 15, 2009. Varley, who was born in 1937, is the most senior tattooed woman in the world according to the Guinness World Records. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso

Apr 21, 2011