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The 11 Geekiest Tattoos Ever Inked

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1. Shoulder to Shoulder Math Equations

Anyone who claims tattoos are for idiots should take up their issues with Joe, a molecular biophysicist/biochemist. While there are plenty of math tattoos out there, this one is special thanks to the sheer quantity of space given up in prime tattoo real estate. In case you were wondering, the first line is the Born Oppenheimer Approximation, the second is the same equation in the form of a 3-Dimensional Schrödinger Equation, and the final line is the solution in the form of a Schrödinger Equation.

2. Blue Screen of Death

Yes, this particular blue screen text, from a Windows 98 OS, may already be outdated, but Paul, the tattooee, wanted to reflect how fleeting technology can be in our modern lives. And with that in mind, the tattoo is perfect.

3. Pandora’s Viruses

It’s not just that this tattoo incorporates Greek mythology or pathogens, it’s that it has managed to seamlessly blend the two in such an utterly perfect manner. In case you were wondering who would get a tattoo covered in viruses, the bearer is an immunologist.

4. Cthulhu Monopoly

It’s one thing to get a tattoo of your favorite board game or even your favorite Lovecraftian monster, but when you combine the two into an utterly adorable mash up, that’s when you deserve a place on a geeky tattoos list.

5. Hitchhiker’s Guide: Don’t Panic

There are plenty of Hitchhiker’s Guide tattoos, but I have yet to see one as perfectly humorous and complexly obscure to those who haven’t read the series.

6. Horseshoe Crab Biology Diagram

While any biology diagram tattoo would be pretty dorky, Lauren, a biology grad student, managed to secure her place on this list with an equally geeky explanation for choosing the subject: “Perhaps the most magnificent living fossil of all, the horseshoe crab is the survivor of a lineage that extends back some 445 million years into the Ordovician.”

7. Cyborg Lincoln

What could be geekier than showing your love for one of America’s greatest historical figures with a tattoo? Mixing that image with a touch of science fiction by making him a cyborg to create your own Abeborgham creation.

8. 8" Ruler

Not many tattoos are as functional as this 8” ruler on Flickr user Mikeysklar. Of course, if he added a metric measurement to the ruler, it would not only double his measuring efficiency, but it would also provide him with a rather useful metric to English conversion table in the process.

9. QR Code

Barcodes are so 2001. These days, it’s all about QR codes, and unsurprisingly, tattoos are following in the same direction. This particular code, as seen on Jully Nascimento of Brazil, reads “hold on” when scanned, a reference to a Good Charlotte song that was particularly meaningful to the wearer’s youth.

10. Hello Kitty Meets Boba Fett

It was actually hard to find a Star Wars tattoo that deserved to make this list—there are so many out there, they've neutralized the geek level of each individual piece. Fortunately, when you combine a classic Star Wars icon with the queen of cartoon kitties, you certainly cross the line into ultimate geekdom.

11. Ctrl Alt Delete

This computer scientist believes it’s always important to remember that when things are screwed up beyond repair, you should always try rebooting. I think that’s a lesson many of us can identify with.

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Big Questions
How Does Tattoo Removal Work?
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You may have felt the regret that sometimes accompanies a mixture of alcohol, impulsive behavior, and a conveniently-located tattoo parlor. Or maybe your artist fudged one of 2015’s trendy watercolor tattoos. If the time has come to erase a dermatological mistake, laser tattoo removal is the answer. But how does it work?

It helps to understand how tattoos become permanent fixtures under your epidermis in the first place. As a stabbing tattoo needle plunges under the top layer of skin, it injects tiny ink particles; those particles are considered a foreign invader by your body, which attempts to marshal forces of white blood cells to address the perceived threat. But the ink particles are too big, and so they remain—mostly. Over time, the particles can break down, allowing the body to carry them off bit by bit. It’s why tattoos can begin to fade after a few years. Unfortunately, that's not fast enough for some poorly-rendered markings.

Lasers speed up this process. The light breaks up the pigment, allowing the body to do what it wanted to do in the first place, which was to get rid of your pocket watch tattoo as quickly as possible. Because the laser is adjusted for different color pigments, it won’t etch away your natural skin color.

Once the pigment particles have been carried off, your lymphatic system takes care of the rest. The remnants of your mistake are routed to the liver, where it can be processed as waste. Technically, that means your tattoo will eventually be pooped out and your questionable judgment flushed away.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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South Korean Artist Creates Cartoon Tattoos of Real-Life Pets
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Instead of simply carrying a picture of their pets inside their wallets, some people in South Korea opt to get whimsical tattoos of their furry friends. Tattoo artist Jiran transforms clients’ pet pics into cute illustrations, and often adds fun details—think hearts, bones, stars, and accessories—to his designs, making them even more cartoon-like.

In South Korea, getting inked is tricky business. Tattoo artists are also required to be licensed doctors, but many artists skip this requirement, opting instead to practice illegally. Still, tattoos are becoming mainstream—and thanks in part to social media platforms like Instagram, artists like Jiran are gaining fame, followers, and customers.

Check out some of Jiran's work below, or follow him on Instagram.

[h/t 9GAG]

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