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Saturday, March 5, 2011

BodMod Week: Tongue Splitting.

There's a group of people online who, for whatever reason, wanna be dragons. They are so desperate that they dress up as dragons and write crazy fiction about becoming dragons, then usually taking revenge on all of humanity. Some of them even claim to feel wings, claws, and tails as phantom limbs. That's either insane or hardcore depending on how you look at it.

They are not, however, hardcore enough to do this:



That is not a genetic mutation, nor does it allow for a human to sense the world like a snake or lizard in any regard. (If you want that, reactivate your Jacobson's Organ.) It is just a modification to make things look reptilian, and is called tongue-splitting, bifurcation, or forking (pick your favorite). Such a mod was almost unheard of in the late 90's, but is becoming more and more common.

 

The first recorded tongue splitting was done in 1996 by Dustin Allor, a 19-year-old body piercer. She did it herself by cutting her tongue slowly with a piece of fishing wire, then letting the wound heal. The result was two separate prongs that could move independently. Shortly after, in 1997, the Lizardman had his own tongue forked.It was really just a drop in the bucket for him.  The modification has risen in popularity since.



The methods of tongue splitting vary, but they are all very painful. There's the fishing twine mentioned above, but as the mod gained popularity, more techniques came out. Scalpels are used by most licensed tongue-splitters. Cauterizing (splitting the tongue in half with a laser or cautery unit) is another valid method. All of these are painful; reversing the process is doubly so.

Tongue-splitting is so notorious that the U.S. has outlawed it in several instances. Anything that detracts from a military image, including a forked tongue, is outlawed in the army. Illinois was the first state outlawing tongue splitting, and was soon followed by New York, Delaware, and Texas. Australia enacted a ban on this mod in 2003. The military case is understandable, but it's somebody's body. They'll fork their tongues if they want to; illegalization just means that it will have to be on the black market (or in Indiana with all the fireworks and venomous snakes).

Tomorrow: Probably the easiest mod in the book...

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