Morgan Joyce Varn’s mugshot has gone viral, and for good reason. It’s… not your average photo. The 24-year-old, who was arrested on April 24 for a variety of charges in South Carolina, has several face, neck and lip tattoos, but it’s her jet black EYEBALL tattoos that have got everyone talking.
If you didn’t know eyeball tattoos were a thing, you’re not alone. Commenters on Twitter and Facebook questioned whether or not the photo of Varn and her inky eyeballs was real. But it is! Colouring the naturally white membrane is actually called a sclera tattoo, according to Luna Cobra, a body modification specialist who performs these types of inkings.
“It is not like a normal tattoo; it is more like an implant of ink in the membrane that covers the white of the eye,” Cobra told Yahoo! Beauty.
According to Cobra, he developed this technique about a decade ago. “It had never been done before, and I did many news articles, radio, and television shows like the History Channel and National Geographic, all about how I came up with it,” he said. “So for a long time now it has been a known fact that I am the inventor.”
Just like a tattoo you’d get on your arm or ankle, sclera tattoos can be done in different colours. Here’s a lime green version he did for one happy client.
And light blue….
And, of course, black just like Varn’s:
As you might imagine, sclera tattoos are incredibly dangerous to have done. So, if you’re considering inking your eyeball membrane, make sure you’ve done your research before letting someone inject the things you see from with a needle full of some electric hue. And, for goodness sake, do not ever attempt to try it at home. “[Inexperienced body mod artists] have blinded many people worldwide,” Cobra says. “To be clear, all my clients are safe.”