You can tattoo your eyeballs now. But that doesn't mean you should.

Just when we thought humankind had finally run out of body parts to inject ink into, along comes some truly eye-watering news.

Have you ever examined your eyes in the mirror and thought, ‘Gee, I wish I could spruce those whites up a little bit’? Well, with the help of a skilled tattoo artist, you can. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, eyeball tattooing is possible and it’s been happening for longer than you realise.

According to The BBC, a tattoo artist who goes by the name Luna Cobra was the first to experiment with eyeball inking back in 2007. Here are the some of the looks he’s created in the years since, via Instagram. (Post continues after gallery)

Here’s how it works: pigment is injected directly into the eyeball (yep, we’re talking about a needle going straight into your eye) so it rests under the thin top layer of the eyeball.

Just one small injection contains enough ink to tattoo a quarter of the eye, while several injections will cover the entire white. Like skin tattoos, the colour is then permanent – although it is mobile and can shift and migrate around the eye.

This is what happens when you leave your contacts in too long

Now, if you’re anything like us, you’re probably entertaining the thought of what it actually feels like to have your eyeball tattooed. Sydney-based body piercer Kylie Garth had both her whites coloured a pretty blue-green, and described the injection process as “mentally intense”.

Kylie Garth (via Instagram: @kyliebearpiercing)


"It feels like somebody is poking at your eye, then it feels like strange pressure and then it feels you have a bit of sand in your eye, but there's no pain," Garth told the BBC.

Watch this amazing tattoo artist conceal burn victim’s scars.

As with any form of body modification, you might think eyeball tattooing is just another creative form of self-expression. Alternatively, you might be thoroughly freaked out right now (especially if you're a little on the squeamish side).


However, there's certainly a lot of interest in this technique. Luna Cobra has tattooed hundreds of people's eyes around the world - including here in Australia - turning their whites various shades of blue, green, red and even black - which makes us think of that season of True Blood where this happened:



"If you want to amuse yourself by decorating your eyeball, why not do it?" Cobra tells the BBC. "I do a lot of things that look like tie-dye or 'cosmic space'. I think it brings a realm of fantasy into everyday life."

However, just because you can tattoo your eyeballs, doesn't mean you necessarily should. There are some serious risks involved.

A spokesperson for the American Optometric Association said the practice can put people at risk of infection, pain, inflammation and worse, blindness. It's even been banned in some US states.

Cara Delevingne now has a white tattoo

On his website, Luna Cobra cautions that "very few artists" are skilled enough to perform eyeball tattooing. He also urges people who are considering eyeball tattoos to think carefully about their decision - especially if black is their chosen colour.

"I tell them you're going to look frightening forever to the majority of people you encounter. You might find people have trouble connecting with you or looking at you because they can't follow your iris," he says.

Maybe stick with colourful contacts for now, yeah?

Would you have your eyeball tattooed? Do you know anyone who has?