Tongue splitting is a type of body modification in which the tongue is cut centrally from its tip thus forking the end. It’s a common body alteration for extreme enthusiasts.
There are 3 methods to split the tongue:
- Scalpel: The tongue is cut down the middle with a scalpel and each half is stitched or sutured along the cut edge.
- Cauterizing: A laser is used to burn the tongue in half which closes off blood vessels.
- Tie Off: Fishing line is tied through an existing tongue piercing to the tip of the tongue and tightened. When the line has cinched through the tissue and become loose, it is cut out and a new tighter line is placed in to continue the cut.
The tongue generally heals in 1–2 weeks, during which time the person may have difficulty with speech or their normal dietary habits.
After the tongue is split and the sides healed, control over the individual sides can be gained with practice. The two halves can be raised up and down, spread apart, and some objects can be grasped onto and held.