Amazing: Watch someone get a tattoo in slow motion

We have a newfound respect for tattoo artists

By Joanna Rothkopf

Published September 24, 2014 8:06PM (EDT)

    (Smarter Every Day)
(Smarter Every Day)

A new video from Smarter Every Day brings us up close and personal with the process of tattooing. The host, Destin explains how the two most popular tattoo machines (the coil and the rotary) function before letting the viewer observe an actual tattoo being applied.

"I used to think that a tattoo machine came to a single needle point and then injected ink under the skin," he says. "It's actually multiple needles and they're grouped together for lining. However, for shading it's more like a paintbrush. Ink is held between those multiple needle points using capillary action, and when it punctures the skin it drags the ink down into the dermis."

He used special lights and a macro lens, and then recorded the process at a 1500 and 3200 frames per second. In other words, you see every tiny detail.

The video is extremely beautiful and slightly nauseating. Watch below.

Joanna Rothkopf

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Art Ink Pain Science Smarter Every Day Tattoo Video