Whatever their reason is, be it cultural, a means to make a statement, or just because they were bored one day, this list of ten individuals has taken body modification to the max. This is more than just your average ear gauge or eyebrow piercing - these are complete adjustments to one’s physical form, to the point where coming back from it is a clear impossibility without severe reconstructive surgery, leaving some of them almost unrecognizable. Be prepared to be impressed or disgusted, for this installment is all about extreme body modifications.
On August 27th, 1958, a baby boy was brought into the world; on November 5th, 2012, at the age of 54, that same boy, now known as ‘The Stalking Cat’ and resembling a female tiger, committed suicide. Avner’s transformation from Dennis to Stalking Cat started at a young age, when the medicine man of his tribe gave him the name. To accompany the title that Avner thought fit him so well, in 1985, he began the extensive task of body modifications to make himself look more like the totem he related to – the female tiger. Stalking Cat underwent extensive tattooing, in the face and along his body; subdermal implants to change the shape of his brow, forehead, and his nose; lip, cheek, and chin silicon injections; splitting his upper lip; elongating and pointing his ears; relocating his septum to flatten his nose; and sharpening and filing his teeth down. At the end of his transformation, with the aid of a robotic tail and cat-like contact lenses, Avner was more feline than human, which allowed him to truly relate to the totem he was named after.
María José Cristerna
For some individuals, body modification may be a large step outside of the perceived “normal life” they had been living prior to deciding to undergo these changes. What is truly most interesting about this Mexico native is the history she had prior to completely succumbing to her desire for body modification. Maria, now dubbed The Vampire Lady, was a fairly straight-laced lawyer raised in a strict religious environment that turned to body modification to release her inner rebel. After leaving her life as a lawyer behind, Maria turned to working as a video jockey and underwent a series of body modifications to become the colorful individual she is today. To accomplish her unique look, Maria had her teeth filed to fangs, underwent subdermal implant surgery on both her head and arms, received multiple facial piercings, and is covered in a variety of tattoos. Though she may look intimidating, Maria has used her experiences from her abusive childhood to give talks and seminars to women that suffer from domestic abuse.
Had this look been the cause of some freak accident, it would be cruel to say that Henry Damon currently looks like something nightmares are made of. As the Venezuelan did these modifications to himself, though, we feel it is okay to point out that he resembles a terrifying demon spawn. When Damon started his modifications, he had a clear goal in mind – to at some point look like his favorite Marvel villain, Captain America’s own antithesis, the Red Skull. To achieve his look, Damon underwent forehead and eyebrow implants to create ridges that look more Klingon than anything else. He tattooed his eyes black and had the tip of his nose cut away to achieve that iconic Red Skull look.
If you could make yourself resemble any animal, what would it be? Would you go for something graceful like a stallion or something familiar like a cat? For Eric Sprague, there was only one critter that he wanted to resemble – and how he is best known by his stage name, The Lizardman. For the renowned freak show performer, it wasn’t always about the sideshow and body modification. Sprague originally sought his PH D at the University at Albany after obtaining his bachelors in Philosophy at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. Since leaving his schooling behind, though, it has been a life of sword swallowing, fire eating, and body modification. To achieve the “Lizardman” look, Sprague underwent a dental procedure to sharpen his teeth, subdermal implants, has had his body tattooed fully in lizard scales, and had his lips inked green.
If you’re going to partake in body modification, you want your transformation to be handled by someone that knows what they’re doing. In Hawaii, you would be able to feel comfortable in trusting your procedures to Kala Kawai, a man so into body modification that he turned it into a career by opening his own studio. Kala has roughly 67 piercings, which include facial studs around his mouth and eyes, spikes atop his head, massively gauged ears, and even two gauges in his nostrils which give a very pleasing look into the inner workings of his nose. Along with his mass of piercings, Kala has covered 75% of his body in tattoos, though he has left his face mostly untouched by ink. To finish off his devilish look, Kala even underwent an implant surgery to place horns on both sides of his forehead, at one time holding the world record for largest horn implants.
Elaine Davidson is a famed face in the world of body modification, but she isn’t known for her range of adjustments made to her body. While most body modifiers are known for their extreme transformations, Elaine turned to one method to completely change her look – facial and body piercings. To list every piercing that Elaine has would take quite a bit of time as this Brazilian beauty is loaded with over 9,000 different piercings. In May of 2000, Elaine was awarded with the Guinness World Record for being the “Most Pierced Woman,” and this was when she had only 462. While it may look uncomfortable to deal with, Elaine’s mass of studs and rings never leave her skin and she insists that there is no level of discomfort that one may expect, especially with over 500 internal and external genital piercings. On top of her mass of piercings, Elaine is also known to sleep on a bed of nails, walk on fire, and partake in extreme sports such as Sky Diving.
Do a Google Image Search for Paul Lawrence and you’ll get a bunch of hits that aren’t too shocking – but search for “Paul Lawrence The Enigma,” and you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a rather well known sideshow performer that has been featured at Universal Studios Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, on an episode of The X-Files, and much more. Just a year prior to the start of his puzzle-piece tattooing, which was started by now ex-wife Katzen the Tiger Lady, Lawrence helped found the Jim Rose Circus. As his time as a performer went on, so did the extensive modifications he made to his body. Along with his full-body jigsaw tattoo, to fully become The Enigma, Lawrence underwent horn implants, ear reshaping, and multiple body and facial piercings.
Lucky Diamond Rich
For Gregory Paul McLaren, it all started with a simple fascination of the most tattooed people in the world and a small tattoo on his hip. Now-a-days, Gregory, known best as Lucky Diamond Rich, is covered from head-to-toe in what amounts to over two thousand hours of inking. In 2006, Lucky Rich took the Guinness World Record of “The Worlds Most Tattooed Person,” alleviating Tom Leppard after showcasing his body, which is 100% covered in ink. To qualify for the record, Rich needed to have every inch of skin covered, including all of the areas that normal people don’t want to even think of having a needle near. Before coating himself in black and white ink, Rich was a street performer, impressing crowds with sword swallowing and juggling on a unicycle. His versatility and personality made him one of Australia’s best performers, earning him the title of Australian Street Performer of the Year before he went on to be the most tattooed individual that we know him as today.
When you see this eclectic fellow on the streets, chances are you may have to do a double take. What may look like a pale skeleton walking towards you is actually Rick Genest, the Canadian man with a flavor for the macabre and extremely detailed body art. After his first tattoo at age 16, Genest opened up a love for the art form that would eventually lead to the 6-year and $20,000 endeavor of covering his entire body. Rick was showcased on the Body Modification Ezine in November of 2006, when he had just started his facial tattoos; but he is best known for the intricate detailing of his full-body tattooing that has earned him the loving name of “Zombie Boy.” Zombie Boy has been featured in many freak shows but also made an appearance alongside Keanu Reeves in 47 Ronin and several shorts.
At first glance, you may question why Fakir is even on this list of body modification, but Fakir is really thought to be the father of the modern primitive movement. This movement focuses on body modifications and how it relates to primitive cultures and their beliefs and rituals; and to be the father of such a movement, Fakir had to partake in it. Throughout the course of his life, Fakir has experimented in body piercing, scarification, tattooing, and tightlacing, which is the practice of wearing a corset so tight that it can displace organs and reduce waist circumference quite a bit. Though he may not look it, Fakir has dabbled in a little bit of everything, including suspension and neck rings.