Meet The Woman Who Tattooed Her Eyeballs Black


photo of woman getting a tattoo Getty Images

Ouch! Eyeball tattoos? No thank you. That just seems kind of dangerous, doesn’t it?

Well, apparently not, according to this viral photo of a woman with black eyeballs.

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The photo was posted in 2017 on Facebook by a sheriff from Lancaster County, South Carolina, and shows a heavily tattooed woman with black eyeballs to match.

Photo: Lancaster County Sheriff's Office

Arrested because of her connection to an armed robbery, the then 24-year-old Morgan Joyce Varn had her photo taken, which somehow made its way to Facebook (as strange photos often do).


Many of the commenters were asking about Varn’s visibly black eyes, speculating that she had on contacts that covered the whites of her eyes. It turns out, though, that she wasn’t wearing contacts and, instead, had black tattoos on the whites of her eyeballs.

Whoa. I have tattoos and the thought of that tiny little, razor-sharp needle digging into one of the most sensitive areas on my body... I kind of want to faint.

Apparently, this girl and her tattoo artist aren’t just completely insane. This black eyeball tattoo is associated with gang members — the MS-13 gang, specifically.

“Believe it or not, eyeball/corneal tattooing is now kind of a thing in certain gangs,” one poster wrote. “No SANE tattoo artist will do it as it's very dangerous and can easily result in a horrible infection or even the loss of sight or loss of the entire eye. The MS-13 gang is supposedly very big on this right now. If you search MS-13 in Google Images, you'll see plenty of pix."


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The inventor of this trend, Luna Cobra, spoke in an interview about the entire process. “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,” he said.

He continued, “Yes, this person does have eyeball tattoos. 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. I invented this body modification almost 10 years ago. It had never been done before, and I did many news articles, radio, and TV shows like The History Channel and National Geographic, all about how I came up with it. So for a long time now it has been a known fact that I am the inventor.”

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He also divulges that this is a prison trend, and has heard of many people going blind and getting seriously injured in the process. However, he says that none of his clients have ever been harmed.

Cobra also said that he's tried to get this tattoo type banned. 

“I have tried to reach out to various government agencies to suggest they ban the eyeball tattoo so the uneducated miscreants that offer this tattoo will no longer be able to blind people. So far I have had very little luck with getting legislation on this.”

While these eyeball tattoos are definitely dangerous, they didn’t make Inked's list of the most painful body parts to get tattooed.


So, what are the most painful body parts to get some ink? According to the magazine, they are:

  • Behind the knee
  • Hands and knuckles
  • Palms
  • Body ditches like the elbow
  • Groin
  • Nipples
  • Ribs
  • Head/skull
  • Underarms/armpits
  • T-zone on the face

Are you thinking of getting some ink this year? Well, then maybe try to avoid these spots.

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Shannon Ullman is a writer who focuses on travel and adventure, women's health, pop culture, and relationships. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, MSN, and Matador Network.