After Rodrigo Fernando dos Santos got 70 percent of his body covered in tattoos, the 39-year-old Brazilian citizen wanted something a little different.
So he got his eyeballs tattooed. He turned the whites of his eyes into dark pools, via a procedure using a special syringe-like needle that injects the ink into the eyeball — permanently.
“I cried ink for two days. Now to go back, only changing the color to white again. But still, i think it’s half gray,” Santos said, according to TheLocal.br.
Santos, who is known to his pals in Sao Paulo as “Musquito,” is a tattoo artist himself. He paid fellow inker Rafael Leao Dias nearly $500 to do the eyeball darkening.
“There is no drilling,” Dias said, according to MyHealthBowl.com. “We apply the ink between the conjunctiva and sclera layer that protects the eye. I studied the procedure for two years and performed my first application in Oct. 2012. The law does not prohibit this, here or abroad. There is no risk or discomfort due to the use of specific eyewash.”
Eyeball tattoos have been reported for nearly 2,000 years, according to an FAQ on the subject by BME.com. The study stresses that potential dangers include blindness.
However, the injection method used by Dias originated in Toronto about six years ago, according to Vancouver-based body modification artist Russ Foxx who has done a number of eyeball tattoos himself.
“The contrast and relationship between a person’s natural iris color and the scleral tattoo can create all sorts of amazing and beautiful effects,” he told HuffPost blogger La Carmina. “For example, tattooing the sclera solid black will have differing effects if a person has crystal blue irises as opposed to dark brown irises. Brighter colors have drastically different effects.”
As beautiful as an inked-up peeper might be to some, Australian tattoo artist Jack Smith doesn’t see himself doing it anytime soon.
“With anything new you don’t know the long-term risks to start with,” he told News.com.au. “A few of the guys are now losing their sight and other guys have had no real drawbacks, but you don’t really know.”