Extreme Body Modifications: Mutilation or Modification?

Forget piercing your ears – these niche body modifications will intrigue you, disgust you, or both.

Body modifications can consist of anything from piercings, tattoos, implants and any additive or modification someone can do to the body. We see body modifications everyday on a number of different people including ourselves, usually in the form of pierced ears and tattoos. They are a way people express themselves, tell a story or even just have done for fun. Despite the various reasons behind body alterations, these types of modifications are some of the most extreme and severe. Not only are a lot of these severely dangerous if not done properly with caution, but very unusual.


Scarification is probably one of the more disturbing and painful modifications that one can get done. The process consist of an artist drawing an outline of the desired design on the skin and then proceeding to cut the outline with a scalpel. When all the desired skin is removed, the open wound must be tended to with intense care until fully healed. According to PureBodyArts.com, this consists of a repetitive process of cleaning, drying and wrapping at least four times a day. By removing the skin, it will eventually start to scab and is imperative to not pick at. Once the scab naturally removes itself, there is a permanent scar of the design left on the skin. Although this can be an extremely dangerous modification since an open wound is prone to many diseases and infections, quite a few people have it done.

“I think this is closer to body mutilation rather than a body modification,” senior David Lonski said.



Suspension is more of an act than a modification, but is still looked at as dangerous and quite unusual. Suspension is the process of suspending a human in the air using wires connected to piercings that are normally place on the backside of the body. Hooks are put through pre existing body piercings and they are slowly suspended in the air.

“This sounds like borderline torture,” junior Kevin Tokarczyk said.

Today, cases such as this take place in acts by performance artist. However, suspension was first introduced as a religious practice by the Mandan. The feeling of being weightlessly floating in the air is said to be cathartic and relaxing for many who have been brave enough to try it.


Extraocular Implant (Eyeball Jewelry)

You can’t get much more extreme than having a modification put into your eyeball. Most cringe at the sight of putting contacts in, so purposefully placing jewelry inside of your eye is a very unusual and drastic procedure with little payoff. This implant places a tiny piece of decorative jewelry in your eyeball. They do this by making a small incision on the outermost layer of the eye and sliding a metal piece inside. The jewelry is not noticeable unless someone is purposefully looking for it or pretty close to the eye, but some pay the thousands of dollars that it costs.


Only a handful of people have gotten these modifications done since they are fairly new to the body mod world. Whether a nose ring or jewelry in the eye, the ability to express ourselves with body modifications is becoming more popular.