By Carl Zimmer | February 16, 2008 11:14 pm


Allen writes:

“In our case, my wife and I got tattoos as our wedding rings. I can still hear the guffaw of one of my wife’s good friends at the wedding when it was announced what we did. Our tattoos are ankle rings composed of a siphonophore, deep sea relatives of the Portuguese Man-o-War. We modeled it after one of Haeckel’s plates, but have since been told by the guy who knows more about siphonophores than anyone else alive that it “doesn’t exist”. That is one aspect for which it is not an apt symbol.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Angelica

    I love these, and recognized them as siphonophores of some sort right away. I had a thought about getting a siphonophore tattoo to commemorate my wedding as well – my husband and I eloped and had a sunset wedding in the Florida Keys. The morning of, we were swimming and I was stung by a man-o-war. I didn’t see it floating but had seen several of them washed ashore – it’s possible that I caught a stray, detached tentacle. I used a card to scrape any stinging cells off, and the swelling went down and was.gone by the wedding. I thought a tattoo would be a cool alternative to rings made of gold and diamonds of potentially nefarious and ecologically irresponsible origin. In the end, we settled on some inexpensive but hefty bands made of reclaimed Tungsten carbide.


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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