Urban legends tell that people should have an odd number of tattoos because it brings good luck to their bearer. Where did this certainty came from? This is an history of olds journeys and fascinating meanings which is going to reveal the truth about this myth.

Let’s get back to the time when sailors set sail without knowing whether they would have come home or not. They had to face very long and dangerous crossings in which the smallest mistake or fatality could made the difference between life and death. These men knew what they were going through so they used to get tattooed before they leave to bring a memory along during the voyage.

Sailor Jerry, Anchor flash, USA, via www.sailorjerry.com
Sailor Jerry, Anchor flash, USA, via www.sailorjerry.com

Once they arrived to the harbor of destination they got a second tattoo to prove the success of the first part of their sailing and in case they managed to come home they would get a third one to mark the happy ending. Having three tattoos, for a sailor, meant that they came home and saw their loved ones again. This is why it is generally believed that an odd number of tattoos brings good luck, because a long time ago this meant that the sailor was alive.

But think about it: if successful sailor got three tattoos at a time, this means that neither sailors themselves always have an odd number of tattoos. At the end of the second crossing, in fact, they had six tattoos, an even number of them, but they meant the success of their sailing anyway. So maybe here’s where the tradition have been distort: tattoos did not have to be in an odd number at the whole, but they had to be gotten in an odd number at a time, during the same journey.

So to respect this tradition for real and bring us (why not?) good luck what we really should do it to get a triad of tattoos liked together. Lucky numbers are: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and so on.