You Can Now Get Tattoos That Include Other People's DNA

To some it will seem creepy, others will praise it as the most genius idea ever, but regardless of where you stand, biogenic tattoos created with ink made of hair, cremated ashes and containing other forms of human DNA are becoming more and more of a thing. 

Already practiced in Canada, Sweden and a handful of other places, these so-called "DNA tattoos" are now taking off in the United States as well thanks to Endeavor Life Science and their product, Everence, a powdery substance that features traces of another human's (or even animal's) genetic code.

Using Everence powder, tattoo artists can mix it into the ink and permanently embed your loved ones into your skin. According to its creators, "Everence allows you to keep those who have touched your soul, shape your life, and continue to inspire your journey, with you always."

Everence was spearheaded by Patrick Duffy whose inspiration for such tattoo technology comes from an unlikely encounter in Key Largo, Florida. Duffy, who was then running a special scuba diving program for military veterans, came across a woman with a leg tattoo dedicated to her late husband, a Navy SEAL killed in combat. Speaking to the New York Times, Duffy explains:

"In that moment, I thought, 'Wouldn’t it be cool to turn that tattoo into a reliquary?' To put a piece of something she cared about, maybe even her husband, into the tattoo itself?"

It took some time to bring his dream to life, but now Everence is very much real with famous tattoo artists, such as Mike Rubendall, Valerie Vargas, Chris Garver, Rose Hardy and others promoting it on social media and to their customers.

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According to Everence's website, the process of creating their powdery substance complies – and possibly exceeds – the safety and quality requirements for cosmetics. Once transferred to skin, it doesn't alter the genetic makeup of the surrounding tissue.

Those interested in getting one of these "DNA tattoos" should know it's not cheap – the DNA extraction alone will set you back a good $670, then on top of that you'll have to pay the tattoo artist. But hey, you end up with a truly unique piece of body art so maybe it's worth it.

Cover image by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash