Orlando Bloom's Morse Code Tattoo


Actor Orlando Bloom unveiled a new tattoo on his arm earlier this week which appears to be something like Morse code. The caption under his Instagram post said "new #tattoo can you guess who?"

Set your preferred Morse speed and frequency and click on the tiles below to hear what the tattoo should sound like.

Orlando's fans soon recognised that the dots and dashes were Morse code but there's been some confusion as to what they are supposed to mean. If Morse code is written down with dots and dashes it helps to have some way of indicating where the dots and dashes representing one letter end and the next starts such as a larger gap or a slash. Orlando's tattoo runs all the dots and dashes into each other so it could mean a variety of things.

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new #tattoo can you guess who?

A post shared by Orlando Bloom (@orlandobloom) on

Despite this, fans soon worked out that it might represent the name of Orlando's son, "Flynn", born 9 years ago, but there's one small problem: the dots and dashes for "Flynn" are and the dots and dashes are ..-. .-.. -.-- -. -. whereas the tattoo says ..-..-.-.---.-. which has a dot missing. The problem is with the second letter "L": in Morse code it is .-.. but without the final dot you have a letter "R" which is .-. meaning the tattoo actually says "Frynn" which surely isn't what was intended?

Of course, with no gaps between the characters in the tattoo it could say any number of things. In fact, if you put the spaces in just right you can spell IT INK MEN (or .. - .. -. -.- -- . -.) which might make more sense, especially if the tattoo artist's initials are "I.T."!

Try copying the dots and dashes into the Morse code translator and then add and remove spaces to make your own interpretation.

The numbers above the tattoo give the game away: "010620110903" must relate to Flynn's date and time of birth. Given Orlando is English we'd guess that this means the 1st of June 2011 at 9.03am. There's plenty of room for confusion there as well though with those from the USA reading it as the 6th January 2011. He'd have been better off using the good old ISO 8601 standard for dates and times (which sensibly starts with the year, then month, date, hour and finally minute) and writing "20110601T0903"

We're not sure Orlando can get another dot squeezed in there: perhaps it will be easier to change his son's name?