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Can Wolverine Get a Tattoo?

For me, the best nerdy questions are those that seem simple at first, but then open up into a rabbit hole that begs you to tumble down. This week’s episode begins with a question that is the epitome of that evolution: Could X-Men’s Wolverine get a tattoo? Pfft, no. That’s a dumb…wait. But if his…I don’t think…hmm. If you’re now as hooked as I was, stick around.

In my latest Because Science, I’m looking into the science of tattoos and healing factors. Given that we’ve already explored a Wolverine-like healing factor in Deadpool, the real question is how tattoos work inside the body. For years I just assumed I knew how tattoos stuck in the skin. But I was wrong. An ink gun doesn’t simply inject the ink bellow some skin layers and leave it there. No, what an ink gun really does is create hundreds of tiny holes that physics dictates metal-laced ink will flow into.

And if Wolverine can physically receive a tattoo, would it last? His healing factor is amazingly powerful, but I don’t think it has anything to do with how tattoos fade or get removed with something like lasers. In the end, you’re going to have to decide what you want to go with: comics or science. I leave that choice up to you bub.


Check out my last video on the physics of Ant-Man’s gigantic transformation in Captain America: Civil war, subscribe to this playlist to stay current with the show, buy a Because Science shirt (you know why), and follow me on Twitter to give me a suggestion for the next episode!

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