Food allergies are no joke. As many of you might know, being allergic to foods like nuts, eggs, and wheat flour can cause a range of extremely dangerous symptoms, ranging from itching and nausea to even painful swelling of the throat and airways.
Japan has been taking a pretty impressive proactive stance for early allergy detection - and the method they've employed to get the job done might really surprise you!
These 'ukiyo-e'-inspired temporary tattoos have been specially created to indicate whether or not the wearer is allergic to soba. Soba, a staple noodle popularly enjoyed in the country, is made from buckwheat, the top food-related allergen among children in East Asia - with the strongest reactions resulting in anaphylactic shock.
If the wearer is not allergic, the tattoo will remain a black-and-white design. If the wearer has an allergy, sudden red detailing will appear. And, differently from a traditional allergy test, this indication does not result in burning or itching skin.
The tattoos are currently being used by the 230 Soba Street Promotion Association, a Hokkaido-based group of soba noodle restaurateurs along the region's popular foodie destination, Route 230. They hope that this kind of technology will catch on and encourage similar products to be made for other common food allergies.
Would you rock one of these tattoos?
Let me know in the comments below what you think of this story, and for more strange but true developments in the name of science, follow my Weird Science collection!