Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

My first tattoo!

My first tattoo!
Hi again.
I never really thought I would get a tattoo, until I came to Tenerife.
I always thought, “what’s the point of getting permanent drawings on your body?” However, upon reflection of the meaning they can hold, my opinion changed.
It was in Tenerife that I discovered I wanted something meaningful, not only to me, but impactful to others. I wanted something to do with whales, seeing as they are going extinct and they have such an important role in the world. A single great whale absorbs 33 tons of CO2 over its lifetime, meanwhile, a tree absorbs only 22kg. This is such a massive difference which is unknown by many. This also happens because wherever whales go, phytoplankton grows, which absorb 40% of CO2, equivalent to 1.7 trillion trees! That’s the size of four Amazon rainforests.
A rise in 1% of phytoplankton is the equivalent of planting 2 billion mature trees.
Even though whaling was banned in 1986, the number of whales is a quarter of what it used to be due to humans killing them. Restoring their numbers could absorb 1.3 billion tons of CO2 every year.
In spite of this, and how uneducated people are, I decided to tattoo a whale’s fluke (tail) on my ribs. I had it done on Saturday together with my friends here in Tenerife. They had a matching tattoo of a flame to represent the bonfire area where we chill and talk every night and volunteering in general. One of my friends tattooed a pilot whale, a resident marine animal of Tenerife, on his leg, which I personally find so cool.
I’m really happy with the result of my tattoo, as are they.
For many of them, it was their first tattoo. It was my first too, which I think brought us much closer together.
Thanks for reading.
Charley x


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