The Intersection

Science Tattoo

i-d56908e888520afa82ff8e501f5f9da2-stages.JPGNo, this is not my leg (I plan to stay ink-free), but the appendage belongs to a favorite girlfriend and former bandmate. She’s a soil scientist with a passion for the lovable preying mantis and I suspect I’ve just witnessed the creation of the coolest science tattoo this millennium…

Check out my full post over at Correlations for a full photo of the 8-inch fella, antennae to abdomen!


  1. #1 vanessa
    May 12, 2008

    oh my god. it looks AWESOME!!!!! so anatomically correct! i would love a tattoo like that, but i don’t think i would stand the paiiiiin.

  2. #2 Lance
    May 12, 2008

    Call me old fashioned but having a giant insect tattooed on your thigh is revolting. It looks to be bigger than the hand of the tattoo artist.

    Also while I find mantids to be fascinating creatures if I was exploring the thigh of a potential mate and found a huge likeness of an insect species known for its females devouring the male after mating I might reconsider further sexual activity with said woman.

    Then again I know some guys that dig that whole black widow thing and hey maybe she isn’t trying to attract males anyway.

  3. #3 vanessa
    May 12, 2008

    also lance, it depends how HOT the chick is. if she is as hot as the girl who just got this done, then you would have NO problem exploring the said thigh, and higher if you were lucky enough to get that far.

  4. #4 Lance
    May 12, 2008

    Good point vanessa. Some males have a sex drive that rivals or exceeds their self-preservation instinct.
    However, if I discovered this “art work” while maneuvering during a intimate moment I believe I would withdraw my hand and back quietly out of the room.

    My personal “creep out” factor is pretty high when it comes to giant tattoos of sexually cannibalistic insects.

  5. #5 "GrrlScientist"
    May 12, 2008

    WOW! now i want to get a bumblebee tattoo.

  6. #6 gal with the tattoo
    May 12, 2008

    The litmus test is already working. Folks who can’t handle it aren’t worth worrying about. Thank you for selecting yourself right out of the pool, Lance :-).

    Many male insects voluntarily provide themselves as the first meal or other type of meal (sac outside the sperm, etc.) for an impregnated female. Moralizing a tendency for canabalism is a problem we humans have with most things ‘natural’. Praying Mantids are my absolute favorites for a number of reasons, men who can’t handle it and take it personally probably aren’t strong enough to be with anyway. I am not the type to be ashamed of my ‘artwork’ in order to ‘attract’ a mate, any persons in the lucky position of a possible mating would surely know about it well in advance. I am happy with who I am and what is on my body and generally surround myself with people who feel the same.

    P.S. Thanks Vanessa and Sheril!

  7. #7 Tlazolteotl
    May 12, 2008

    Very beautiful. Poor Lance doesn’t realize what he’s missing out on…

  8. #8 agnostic
    May 12, 2008

    “Not bad… for a girl.

    Hey, that was pretty good for Rambo!”

    What would happen if a guy got a tattoo of a male animal known for killing and eating the female? (I’m not a naturalist, so I can’t think of a concrete example.) We’d hear lamentations about how unenlightened the guy was, how he was setting a bad example, glorifying violence against women, bla bla bla.

    A girl gets the same tattoo and it’s considered progressive, setting a good example, and a symbol of girl power. Nutty world we live in!

    i don’t think i would stand the paiiiiin

    It’s not bad. The outline pinches a bit more since the needle is thinner, but the needle that fills in the space is wider (like having your foot stepped on by a chunky heel vs. a stiletto heel). I’m really good with needle pain, so neither hurt. Just make sure you don’t get it where there is a high density of nerves, like on your elbow; each stroke of the needle will hit a bunch more nerves there.

    No, this is not my leg (I plan to stay ink-free)

    Oh Sheril, always pretending to be such a good Jewish girl. 😉 You know you’ve been thinking about it. I imagine a small one of a baby loggerhead sea turtle near your ankle.

  9. #9 Jim Lippard
    May 13, 2008

    “What would happen if a guy got a tattoo of a male animal known for killing and eating the female? (I’m not a naturalist, so I can’t think of a concrete example.)”

    Unless the female is no longer necessary for reproduction after mating, that doesn’t seem like a good evolutionary survival strategy. So that would seem to limit you to creatures like seahorses and pipefish, mouth-brooding cichlids, etc.

    Apparently there has been some observed seahorse cannibalism.

    Somehow, a man with a cannibalistic seahorse on his leg doesn’t seem as cool…

  10. #10 Lance
    May 14, 2008


  11. #11 pookapooka
    May 15, 2008

    forgive me! forgive me! I was hoping to see the rest of the leg…

  12. #12 one of your biggest fans
    June 6, 2008

    My dear, it is beautiful. It just goes to show how crazy we all are, and how we channel our passions. I think Lowman would frame it in her study. I’d like to spend some time with that controversial ink patch. What’s the Mantid’s schedule look like?
    Te quiero!! D.

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