Why Did Harry Styles Cover His "Things I Can" Tattoo? There's Lots Of Speculation

The waters have not been calm in the One Direction universe lately. Harry Styles has reportedly unveiled a new tattoo — only this time, it is replacing an iconic tat. Talk about plot twist. According to E!, Styles' new eagle tattoo conveniently covers up his "Things I can" arm tattoo. However, this isn't the first inking to go on the chopping block — Styles allegedly also had his "Things I can't" tattoo erased in the past, as E! points out. With rumors of the heartthrob embarking on a solo music career, One Direction's impending hiatus, and the drama surrounding Zayn Malik's exit from the band, Styles is ending 2015 on a rocky, if not exciting, note.

The addition of the eagle tat only adds more flames to the fire. For Directioners, the bird ink is fueling a fury of questions: Why an eagle? What could this symbolize for Styles? Is he truly ready to go solo? What about the future of the band? Unfortunately, this isn't a multiple-choice answer type scenario — the answer is as open-ended as ever, and the possibilities are everywhere.

Perhaps a way to read this cryptic situation is to tackle it from a different angle: why did Styles choose to cover-up both his "Things I can" and "Things I can't tattoos? While deciphering the eagle's meaning is natural, why Styles chose to replace those tattoos in the first place is just as important.

For now, cast aside your Larry/Zouis/Niam fanfiction and whip out your Sherlock gear: it's time to speculate and investigate.

1. "It's A London Thing"... Or Is It?

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The Daily Mail reports that Styles got his matching tattoos done in Dublin 2012, and when asked about its significance on an Irish chat show, he declined to comment. However, fellow bandmate Niall Horan was quick to follow-up by claiming "It's a London thing." The context is still vague, but could "it" possibly relate to the tattoos? Maybe these two phrases foster a connection with London, the very birthplace of One Direction. If so, Styles' decision to replace these tats can only hold an ominous meaning... perhaps he is truly is ready to spread his wings and break out of the boy band mold?

2. Prayers Be Gone?

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Over on PopStarTats, some are theorizing that Styles' duo tattoos are fragments of a well-known serenity prayer. The prayer goes: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." In this case, "Things I can" and "Things I can[not]" are coded directly in the prayer. Perhaps Styles has lost faith in the prayer or simply grew out of his connection with it?

3. Making Room?

Or perhaps we are just overthinking everything — what if Styles merely covered up his old tattoos to make space for future ink? Let's try and be practical here; after all, there's only so much skin you can get tattooed.

Images: Giphy