Ian Somerhalder, acclaimed for his roles in “The Vampire Diaries” and “Lost,” has intrigued fans not only with his on-screen charisma but also with his choice of body art. 

Despite not boasting an extensive collection, his only tattoo offers a window into his inner world, sparking curiosity about its deeper meaning. 

In this article, we will unravel the symbolism behind Ian Somerhalder’s tattoo – “Hic Et Nunc”, exploring the possible meaning and the insight this tattoo provides into the actor’s personal philosophy and experiences.

What Does Ian Somerhalder’s Tattoo Mean?

What does ian somerhalder's tattoo mean

Situated prominently on his left wrist, Ian Somerhalder’s tattoo of the Latin phrase “Hic Et Nunc” speaks volumes about his philosophy on life. 

Coined by the Roman philosopher Cicero, this phrase encapsulates the essence of living in the present moment. For Somerhalder, it likely serves as a daily reminder to embrace the here and now, steering clear of the burdens of the past and anxieties about the future. 

This commitment to mindfulness aligns seamlessly with his passionate advocacy for environmental causes, reflecting a conscious effort to savor each moment and appreciate the beauty of the world around him.

History of the Phrase “Hic Et Nunc”

History of the Phrase “Hic Et Nunc”

The Latin phrase “Hic et Nunc,” meaning “Here and Now,” carries a weight far exceeding its simple translation. Its journey through history, from ancient philosophy to modern tattoos, reveals a captivating tale of human contemplation on the nature of time and existence.

While the earliest known written record of “Hic et Nunc” dates back to the 1st century BCE Roman philosopher Cicero, the sentiment it embodies finds its roots in much earlier Greek thought. 

Philosophers like Epicurus and Seneca emphasized the importance of the present moment, urging individuals to savor their fleeting existence. “Hic et Nunc” became a concise expression of this philosophy, echoing through Roman rhetoric and literature.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the phrase took on new interpretations. Existentialists like Sartre questioned the meaning of life in a non-deterministic universe, finding solace in the concrete reality of the “Here and Now.” The rise of mindfulness practices further underscored the value of focusing on the present moment.

Possible Tattoo Interpretations of “Hic Et Nunc”

Today, “Hic et Nunc” finds expression in the world of tattoos, resonating with a diverse range of individuals. Here are some possible interpretations:

  • Carpe Diem: The most common association, urging the wearer to live life to the fullest and not waste time.
  • Mindfulness: A reminder to stay present and appreciate the small details of life.
  • Overcoming Adversity: Symbolizes resilience and the ability to find strength in the present moment despite challenges.
  • Personal Mantra: A reminder of a specific event, goal, or personal philosophy that holds significance for the wearer.

Who is Ian Somerhalder?

Ian Somerhalder is an American actor, model, and environmental activist. He gained widespread recognition for his portrayal of Boone Carlyle in the television series “Lost” (2004–2010). 

However, he is perhaps best known for his role as Damon Salvatore in the supernatural drama series “The Vampire Diaries” (2009–2017). Born on December 8, 1978, in Covington, Louisiana, Somerhalder began his career as a model before transitioning to acting.

Throughout his career, Somerhalder has appeared in various television shows and films, showcasing his versatility as an actor. Aside from his notable roles in “Lost” and “The Vampire Diaries,” he has also appeared in series such as “Smallville,” “Young Americans,” and “Tell Me You Love Me.” In addition to his television work, Somerhalder has starred in films such as “The Rules of Attraction” (2002), “Pulse” (2006), and “How to Make Love to a Woman” (2010).

Beyond his acting career, Ian Somerhalder is deeply passionate about environmental conservation and sustainability. 

He has been actively involved in numerous environmental causes and founded the Ian Somerhalder Foundation in 2010, focusing on animal rights, habitat conservation, and green energy initiatives.

In addition to his achievements in acting and activism, Ian Somerhalder is also known for his distinctive tattoos, which serve as visual expressions of his personal beliefs, experiences, and connections.

After Care for Your New “Hic Et Nunc” Tattoo

  • Keep it clean and dry: Wash the tattoo gently with unscented antibacterial soap and warm water 2-3 times a day for the first week. Avoid soaking it in baths, showers, or swimming pools for at least 2 weeks.
  • Pat it dry thoroughly: Don’t rub the tattoo, as this can irritate it. Use a clean, lint-free cloth or paper towel to gently pat it dry.
  • Moisturize regularly: Once the tattoo is dry, apply a thin layer of fragrance-free, oil-free moisturizer. Look for ointments recommended by your tattoo artist. Avoid petroleum jelly, as it can trap moisture and bacteria.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing: Tight clothing can irritate the tattoo and prevent it from healing properly. Wear loose, breathable clothing made from natural fibers like cotton.
  • Avoid sun exposure: Direct sunlight can damage the tattoo and make it fade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure for at least 4 weeks, and always use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher when outdoors.
  • Don’t pick, scratch, or itch: This can damage the tattoo and increase the risk of infection. If the tattoo itches, resist the urge to scratch and gently pat it instead.
  • Avoid saunas, hot tubs, and steam rooms: These can irritate the tattoo and hinder healing. Wait at least 4 weeks before using these facilities.


In conclusion, Ian Somerhalder’s tattoo serves as more than a mere decorative embellishment.

While interpretations may vary, one thing remains certain: Ian Somerhalder’s ink is a testament to the power of self-expression and the enduring legacy of meaningful storytelling etched upon the canvas of his skin.