Have you ever seen "The Mummy?" Not the old Boris Karloff thing from the '30s, but the phenomenal Brendan Fraser/Rachel Weisz film from 1999. It's pretty much the perfect movie. It's got comedy, action, romance and just enough horror to make things a little spicy. There's something for everyone. Over the years, I've probably watched "The Mummy" 30 times and honestly, that's likely a conservative guess.
There is one scene that stuck with me the first time I saw it and, to this day, I get creeped out each time I see it. Even as a grown man I still hide my eyes when it comes on. I am, of course, talking about the scarab scene.
It's horrifying. I want to go on the record in saying that no matter what other failures I have endured, and there are many, I will still consider my life to be a rousing success if I end up never having a bug crawling under my skin. I cannot imagine a more horrible way to die than a bunch of bugs getting under your skin and eating you from the inside out, but even more than that, living after experiencing that seems a fate worse than death.
All that being said, I'm going to be doing my best not to turn this entire website into unpaid therapy as I have done in the recent past, so let's focus on the actual scarab beetle, shall we? The family of scarabaeidae is, in laymen's terms, pretty damn massive as there are over 30,000 different species of scarab found in the world.
Some of the defining characteristics of scarabs is their stout body (no body shaming!), clubbed antennae and legs designed for digging as many of them live much of their lives underground. The most notable characteristic of scarabs, or at least of what we traditionally think about, are the prominent horns found on the males (and some females) of many species within the family. Most scarabs, although not all, are often referred to colloquially as "dung beetles" since, well, you know why. They are primarily scavengers who feast on carcasses, food waste or dung.
The reason scarabs were even included in "The Mummy" is the same reason that we find them to be a prominent motif in tattoo art—the scarab was used extensively throughout ancient Egypt in the form of amulets and impression seals. The reason for their prevalence is not fully understood, but there is likely a connection to the Egyptian god Khepri. In lieu of a face, Khepri has a scarab attached to his neck and was the god of the rising (or morning) sun.
The motif of the industrious scarab has been used in art well beyond Egypt, as depictions are seen throughout the Middle East, Japan, the Mediterranean and, for some reason, on a bunch of Journey albums. And as you'll see from the gallery below, there are a ton of beautiful tattoos featuring scarabs. Not bad for a critter that eats shit all day, right? Enjoy these scarab tattoos.