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Other graffiti forms

Bathroom graffiti

    A very different sort of graffiti appears in many public restrooms, such as those on university campuses. Such graffiti tends more toward the obscene than the artistic, including sexual propositions, vulgar insults, toilet humour, bawdy poetry, pornography, and the occasional crude cartoon. For photographic examples of bathroom graffiti see The Bathroom Graffiti Project, an online arts collective on a mission to archive images of bathroom graffiti from all over the world.

Poster graffiti

    Graffiti has commonly and long appeared on posters, in particular on posters depicting persons. Most frequently such persons acquire decoration in the form of beards or horns, now usually added with water-residstant felt-tip pens. Such graffiti frequently appears during election campaigns. Though regarded as a form of vandalism, this graffiti gains some degree of acceptance, partially because of its merry appearance, and perhaps due to the temporary nature of electioneering. The alternative of tearing-down or obliterating such posters seems less witty.

Challenge graffiti

    Sometimes writing graffiti, psychologically, marks the successful completion of a difficult or distant challenge. For instance "Kilroy was here", leaving one's name at the top of K2, leaving a "human" mark in microscopic nanotubes or non-functional messages on integrated circuits. If the object or site of the challenge does not provide a surface suitable for inscribing challenge graffiti, humans sometimes fall back on other marking techniques, such as, for example, putting a bicycle lock around the object.


    Drunk-shamers sometimes apply graffiti to drunk people sleeping off their inebriation. Such graffiti generally has an offensive and obscene nature and can take the form of writings all over the body or of shaving messages into body hair.

Invisible graffiti

    Sometimes writing graffiti becomes a purely symbolic act, a process of marking something knowing that nobody will ever see that thing again. The Voyager messages sent into space suggest one example. Other examples involve markings left by the makers of an object which will eventually become obscured or forgotten, such as the signatures of the engineers who assembled an electron microscope scratched onto a lead plate which cushions the heavy steel column on its base, or logos etched into computer micochips.

Tree graffiti

    Tree graffiti gets painted or carved on trees, most frequently scratched into the tree's bark as expressions of people in love. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Basque shepherds in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and California expressed their loneliness by carving Basque and Spanish texts or drawing women on aspens they found in their way. Compare Chatham Islands dendroglyphs as tree-art. The United States Forest Service has lately recognized some carvings as valuable historic artifacts and studies how to conserve them against nature, logging and vandalism. A single scratch on a trunk might not harm a tree. Over time, the bark generates scar tissue that makes the scratch more visible. The wound might become critical if it totally cuts the sap flow. (The sap layer lurks just under the bark.) Ring barking, a scratch or gouge removing bark that forms a ring around the trunk, can kill the upper parts of the tree. Artists can also make tree graffiti, like other graffiti, by painting on a tree. However, in contradistinction to the case of carvings, botanists have not studied the effects of paint graffiti on tree health.

Man-made Crop circles

    Man-made Crop circles or "field graffiti" constitute another form of vandalism, although not exactly within the modern definition of graffiti. However, some similarities exist: makers of crop circles generally operate at night and/or in remote areas to avoid detection/detention. The practice classifies as illegal if its practitioners trespass on private land.

Airplane graffiti

    Airplane graffiti is found on the outside of an airplane or in the cargo bins, usually written by airport ground staff. Typically, the graffiti takes jabs at employees at other airports, supervisors, or airline management, and is usually intended to be humorous rather than offensive. During labour disputes, pro-union and anti-management graffiti is also common.

    Although rarely seen by the travelling public, airplane graffiti is very common and almost every commercial airliner is tagged in some way, often in the cargo hold. Other common areas for graffiti include the engine nacelles, the fuselage under the wing, fuel panels, and landing gear panels, as well as any area of an aircraft where the ground crew work.

    Often this graffiti is written in the dirt or grease covering the airplane.

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