Rolf Buchholz from Germany has broken the Guinness World Record for the most body modifications in the world. He has undergone over 516 body modifications over the years, including implants and 481 piercings (with 278 of them on his genitals). Overall, his alterations include piercings on his eyes, mouth, and eyebrows, a surgically split tongue, tattoos on his eyes, subdermal implants in his chest and arms, as well as magnetic implants in his fingers.
Despite breaking the world record in 2012, no one is yet to take his crown.
“Since I have the record, people look a little bit different at my body modifications, because they see me in the book,” he said. “So I’m famous, and people find it [the body modifications] much better than before.” 
“I started with the body modifications because I liked them.”
Buchholz had studied computer science and worked for a telephone company in Germany. However, his passion for implants, tattoos, and piercings began at age forty in 1999.
“I started with the body modifications because I liked them,” Rolf explained. “They were fun, so I started doing more and more. One day, I saw I could break the record because I met other record-holders and realized I had more piercings than them.”
While his alterations are eye-catching, perhaps the one that grabs the most attention are the subdermal horn implants on his forehead. “I think my most famous body modifications are my horn implants. They are really big,” Rolf said. “Other than that I have a lot of implants, as you can see, on the arms and on the back of my hand. I also have a star under my chest.”
He went on to explain that he has 35 implants made up of medical-grade silicone. This also includes several spheres under the skin on his arms, 6 genital beadings, magnets embedded into the fingertips, and a rhombus on the back of his hand. The magnets are his go-to party trick since they can attach to small metal objects. However, they can also cause his some trouble while using electronic devices. As he said, “Sometimes if I press the wrong part on an iPad it switches off because they also use magnets to switch it on and off.”
“Does it hurt? That’s the question people ask me in every language.” Buchholz claimed that the modifications don’t hurt him at all and he could move freely.
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“I did the modifications for me.”
In addition to piercings and implants, 90% of his body is covered in black and gray tattoos. “My first modification was the tattoo on my leg,” he said. “The only style of the tattoos is black and gray. If someone sees it, they will say it looks good… and I think that’s the style.”
Among all of his modifications, the most painful one to attain was the tattoo in the palm of his hand. “It really hurt,” he admitted. “I have no high pain tolerance.”
However, his tattooed eyes are another extremely striking feature. “They put ink directly into the eye. I saw some people with tattooed eyes one time and I wanted it too: if I want something, I do it.” This tattoo technique involves injecting black ink into the top layer of the whites of the eye. When done properly, the ink can turn the eye black without interfering with the person’s vision. This process is permanent and only conducted by a few tattoo artists in the world.
Although he was happy to receive his place in the Guinness World Records, he never did the modifications for the title. “One day, I saw that I was a Guinness World Records titleholder. It was great to get the record, because it’s something special and I’m very proud of it. I didn’t do it for the record. I got the record at the end, yes, but I did the modifications for me. I like the modification, I find it good, so I did it.” 
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Buchholz is also passionate about body suspension, another form of body modification that involves hanging on hooks by the skin. This practice is thousands of years old, often used in religious worship. However, people who practice suspension today find the experience spiritual, cathartic, and euphoric while pushing themselves physically and mentally. But the procedure should only be done with experts who understand the physics and medical implications behind the feat. “During the suspension I feel no pain,” Buchholz said. 
While the alterations changed his appearance, he is still the same person as before. He didn’t get them for a world record or to shock others, rather this is his form of self-expression “I did it for me,” he said simply. His girlfriend is also passionate about body alterations.
- “World’s most pierced man with 278 on his genitals alone shares how people react.” Mirror. Adam Goldsmith. April 28, 2022
- “‘I did it for me’: Meet the man with 516 body modifications.” Guinness World Records. Eleonora Pilastro. April 27, 2022
- “The Therapeutic Experience of Being Suspended by Your Skin.” The Atlantic. Wyatt Marshall. September 21, 2012