Photos: The most extreme body modifications in the world revealed

Humans have been deliberately altering their anatomies for thousands of years.
Why? Reasons vary greatly. For some cultures, it traces back to religious and spiritual beliefs, while for others, it’s simply a case of appearing more (or in some cases purposefully less) attractive to the opposite sex.

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Women of the Apatani tribe in Arunachal Pradesh, India, for example, traditionally wore these nose plugs to diminish their beauty, making them less vulnerable to abduction by men from other tribes, though these days it’s a dying tradition.
Teeth sharpening is an ancient practice that traces its roots way back to early man. In some cultures teeth were filed down since they were believed to harness negative energy, while in others they were sharpened to indicate social standing, age, or to imitate ferocious animals.

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In the Ethiopian tribe of Mursi, the women wear large circular discs in their lips, achieved by piercing the bottom lip and fitting it with plates of increasing size. It might look dramatic and painful, but in Mursi tradition the larger the plate is, the more alluring the woman is considered to be.
With examples from around the world, MailOnline Travel showcases some of the most extreme forms of body modification in the history of man.

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