Weird Universe

Skin and Skin Conditions

Postmortem Tattoo Preservation

The National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art recently launched. Its mission is to preserve the tattoos of any of its members who have died. They claim they have a "new proprietary process" of preservation which helps them to do this.

Of course, to preserve the tattoo, it first has to be removed. The Association doesn't send someone out to do this. Instead, they ship a kit to the funeral home and have them do it. The end result is a nicely framed piece of tattooed human skin.

We've discussed postmortem tattoo preservation before here on WU. For instance, we've noted that as far back as 1950 the Imperial University of Tokyo was collecting tattooed skins. And more recently, tattoo enthusiast Geoff Ostling bequeathed his skin to the National Gallery in Canberra.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Oct 07, 2015 | Comments (10)
Category: Art, Death, Skin and Skin Conditions

Nose Pore Blocker Hanabijin

The "Nose Pore Blocker Hanabijin" (spotted over at Book of Joe) promises to prevent the formation of ugly nose pores. First you cool the thing in a refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then you put it on your nose, whereupon it will "tighten and block off the pores, preventing dirt from getting inside and turning you into someone with a beautiful nose."

It kinda reminds me of the Trados Nose Shaper from 1916 (that I posted about way back in 2010), although the two things were designed for different purposes.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Jan 22, 2015 | Comments (8)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Skin and Skin Conditions

The Tattoo Hall of Fame

Back in June 2012, I posted about a guy down in Australia, Geoff Ostling, who hopes to have his tattooed skin hung on a gallery wall as art after he dies. I got the impression that Mr. Ostling thought his idea of displaying tattoo art postmortem was something new, but it turns out there already is a decades-old tattoo hall of fame.

The April 3, 1950 issue of Life magazine included an article about Dr. Sei-ichi Fukushi, curator of the Imperial University of Tokyo's collection of tattooed human skins. As of 1950, he had already acquired 38 human skins which were on display in the University's gallery, and Dr. Fukushi was eager to expand the collection.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Dec 03, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Art, 1950's, Tattoos, Skin and Skin Conditions

Tin Miners Don’t Get Pimples!

Sure, they had to work in hot, stifling conditions. They frequently suffered from bronchitis, silicosis, TB and rheumatism. Rock falls, flooding, and arsenic poisoning were constant dangers. (Arsenic being a by-product of tin mining). But they didn't get pimples. So life was good.
[info about the dangers of tin mining from]

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat May 18, 2013 | Comments (1)
Category: 1950's, Diseases, Skin and Skin Conditions



Make your visit now!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Feb 22, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Body, Skin and Skin Conditions, Hygiene, Asia


I don't normally pay much attention to banner ads, but my eye was drawn to this one. Why, I wonder, is the person's face a bright shade of purplish-red like a boiled lobster? Is that a side-effect of whatever treatment this company is offering, or just a poor choice of model?

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Jun 20, 2012 | Comments (6)
Category: Advertising, Skin and Skin Conditions

Workers’ Hands

From "The Worker's Hand" by George Rosen, M.D. in Ciba Symposia (July 1942).

As someone who's spent too much time at a keyboard during my life, resulting in bad carpal tunnel syndrome, I can definitely empathize with these hands abused and deformed by work.

A tanner. Creases deeply stained.

Walnut sheller. Stained fingers.

Wood carver. Oval callouses in the center of the palm.

Jeweler. Dislocated distal phalanx of the thumb.

Glass polisher. Shortened, brittle nails.

Metal worker. Penetration of metal particles into the skin.

Worker in a glass factory. Callosities produced by mechanical work.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Jun 18, 2012 | Comments (14)
Category: Jobs and Occupations, Skin and Skin Conditions

Geoff Ostling wants his tattooed skin hung on a gallery wall as art after he dies

Retired teacher Geoff Ostling is covered in tattoos by Australian artist eX de Medici. He likes them so much that he wants them to be preserved for posterity. So he's bequeathed his skin to the National Gallery in Canberra so that after he's dead it can be tanned and hung on the wall for everyone to see. The Gallery hasn't accepted it yet, and Ostling realizes the bequest is controversial, but he thinks the controversy is a result of people being overly squeamish:

What are the ethical problems with the display of human skins? Is it because a beautiful tattooed human skin may force people to confront their own mortality? That we all will die one day and none of us really knows what will happen after we die. Is this the big problem that makes some people shiver? I see the tanning of my skin and donating it to the Gallery as being no different to allowing the transplant of my heart or my lungs if they will save another person's life. The skin is the largest organ of the body.

Images via
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Jun 01, 2012 | Comments (12)
Category: Art, Skin and Skin Conditions

Dr. Scott’s Electric Flesh Brush

It rubs the Flesh Brush on its skin!

From Scientific American, Sep 17, 1881.

If interested, you can buy a genuine Flesh Brush on eBay, for a mere $174.95.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun May 20, 2012 | Comments (4)
Category: Advertising, Products, Skin and Skin Conditions
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.