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The latest tattoo trend? Crazy realistic 3-D ink

Feb. 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM ET

Sure, tattoos are so commonplace these days that the sight of a butterfly, anchor or line of text on just about anyone is hardly reason to raise an eyebrow. But there’s a new trend in tattooing that’s definitely getting our attention: 3-D ink.

Just check out the hashtag #3dtattoo on Instagram to see the evidence. It shows thousands of images of elaborate ink representing the new style, which renders objects like insects, animals and landscapes as eye-tricking trompe l’oeil. See some of the wild images for yourself!

Butterfly tattoos have long been popular — but the addition of shading and shadowing makes this one appear close to fluttering right off the shoulder blade. 

Among the popular 3-D ink styles are those that seem to show what lies underneath the skin. 

This snake looks like its levitating, with a background of shadows.

This treble clef seems to have slammed right into — and bruised — the wearer’s arm. 

No, an eyeball on your neck isn't the tattoo for everyone. But, complete with bulging veins, it sure does look real, right?

Patriotism is taken to a new level, here peeking through super realistic scratch marks on a man's chest.

Even a fanciful coastline scene can be portrayed in 3-D!

Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

We couldn't confirm the origin of one photo originally in this story, so it was removed.

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