I saw this documentary on Netflix last summer called, “My Octopus Teacher” and since then have been pretty smitten by these wondrous sea-dwellers. The guy in the film is actually kind of a role model now. Anywho, without giving too much of it away (I recommend y’all watch it as soon as you get the chance. You’re all here for octopuses, right? or is it octopusi?) Let’s learn a thing or two about these enigmas and look at some rad tattoo ideas.
See! You can’t even make out what’s going on here until you look at it for a while. It is an octopus opening a container by unscrewing its cap.
Meaning of Octopus Tattoo Designs
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An octopus is bilaterally symmetric with two eyes and a beaked mouth at the center point of the eight limbs. The soft body can radically alter its shape, enabling octopuses to squeeze through small gaps. They trail their eight appendages behind them as they swim. The siphon is used both for respiration and for locomotion, by expelling a jet of water. Octopuses have a complex nervous system and excellent sight and are among the most intelligent and behaviourally diverse of all invertebrates.
An octopus tattoo can symbolize magical knowledge, and also on-the-spot thinking and multitasking. This tattoo idea is a great symbol for overcoming your fears. One of the coolest octopus tattoo meanings is the ability to tap into the danger and power of this mighty creature of the sea.
Strategies to defend themselves against predators include the expulsion of ink, the use of camouflage and threat displays, the ability to jet quickly through the water and hide, and even deceit. All octopuses are venomous, but only the blue-ringed octopuses are known to be deadly to humans.
Octopuses are highly intelligent. Maze and problem-solving experiments have shown evidence of a memory system that can store both short- and long-term memory. Young octopuses learn nothing from their parents, as adults provide no parental care beyond tending to their eggs until the young octopuses hatch.
Ideas For Octopus Tattoo Designs
Oh! there are so many ideas when it comes to an octopus tattoo. Did you know that ancient seafaring people were aware of the octopus? as evidenced by artworks and designs? For example, a stone carving found in the archaeological recovery from Bronze Age Minoan Crete at Knossos (1900–1100 BC) depicts a fisherman carrying an octopus.
Minoan clay vase with octopus decoration, c. 1500 BC.
The Kraken are legendary sea monsters of giant proportions said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland, usually portrayed in art as giant octopuses attacking ships. Linnaeus included it in the first edition of his 1735 Systema Naturae.
Pen and wash drawing of an imagined colossal octopus attacking a ship, by the malacologist Pierre de Montfort, 1801.
Since it has numerous arms emanating from a common center, the octopus is often used as a symbol of a powerful and manipulative organization, company, or country. Let’s look at some octopus art.
Yello, purple, white, and black. These colors go so well together.
This is a great artwork for a tattoo. It has simple yet bold lines and wiggles. Easier for the artist to do it on your skin.
An octopus riding a submarine. Despite being really smart and really fast, octopuses get tired really quickly and need about fifteen minutes to recover from their exercise. Here’s one kicking back and hitching a ride.
This octopus looks like a Bond villain.
An octopus with the head of a vintage diver suit. I’ve always been really fascinated by those early diver suits. Kinda like being in space in the 1800s.
Where Should You Get Octopus Tattoo Designs
An octopus tattoo will look really good on a thigh (for women) and chest and shoulders (for men). Octopus art also appears in ancient Japanese erotic art shunga and is the forerunner of tentacle erotica. Very sexy stuff indeed. Anywho! here are some vanilla suggestions-
- Finger Spaces
- Shoulder Blades
- Behind the Ears (what!?)
List of Octopus Tattoo Designs & Meanings
- The Kraken
Tentacles appear from the fingers and swallow a pirate ship whole. Sea enthusiasts and pirate fans will enjoy this tattoo.
- The Ballerina Octopus
A dainty woman with the head of an octopus. A nice forearm tattoo. Did you know that octopuses have also been observed in what has been described as play: repeatedly releasing bottles or toys into a circular current in their aquariums and then catching them. So a dancing octopus wouldn’t be too far from reality.
- The Back and Shoulder Octopus
A realistic octopus rendering is done on the back of the shoulder, the back, and the left arm.
- The Watery-Eyed Octopus
A nice and detailed forearm octopus tattoo. This octopus looks like it’s a male.
- The Chest and Shoulder Octo-Tat
Another monochrome yet realistic octopus tattoo. The tentacles on the chest and the head on the shoulder make a lot of aesthetic sense. This is a very good tattoo indeed.
- The Hand Tattoo
A small, manageable octopus tattoo. The tentacles, being drawn on the fingers make this tattoo a moving tattoo.
- The Aqua-ctopus
Refreshing aqua color is used for this octopus tattoo and is really making the tattoo pop against the light skin of the wearer.
- Shoulder and Arm Tattoo
Look closely, the octopus’ head has intricate artful lines drawn on it. A great idea for an entire arm tattoo.
Instead of going for a realistic octopus, this person has chosen a sketched version of an octopus for their tattoo. In my opinion, sketched tattoos are better because then the whole thing remains in the category of body art rather than having an actual photograph printed on you.
- The Tribal Octopus
This octopus back tattoo is pure inspiration. No realism has been used. tribal patterns are drawn on the tentacles and the rest of the octopus. This is arguably the best octopus tattoo on this list.
- The Swirl-ey Octopus
A forearm octopus tattoo. If you look closely, you’ll see that he looks like a good-natured octopus.
- The Meanie
This tattoo reminds me of The Elephant Man (1980). He looks kinda scary and mean.
- Octopus hand
A beautiful, conceptual octopus tattoo done on the hand. The tentacles drawn on the fingers make this, what I like to call a ‘live’ tattoo.
- Hyper Realistic Octopus
This tattoo has all the original colors of an actual octopus and is a lot of fun to look at, trying to take all the minute details in. Almost has a tribal vibe, if you blur your vision a little.
- Ethnic Octopus
This octopus tattoo has an eastern vibe to it. A very cute idea for an octopus tattoo. Reminds of the bedsheets almost all middle-class Indian households have in their homes.
- The Silveroo
Never really thought that white could be a good color against the skin, gotta say I am now a believer. This octopus tattoo is a very beautiful tattoo indeed.
A back piece. The head is a human skull. A strong pirate vibe. The sea can be a scary place indeed.
- The Anchor and The Octopus
This octopus is all over the anchor with its tentacles. Y’know, octopuses are quite likely to be amused by the presence of an anchor on the ocean floor. This tattoo isn’t too unrealistic.
- Leggy Business
A beautiful twirl-ey octopus tattoo as a thigh piece. The octopus seems to be floating upwards and it has a very calm expression on its face.
- Tentacles to Vines
An entire arm tattoo. While the face of the octopus isn’t quite visible, great attention has been paid to the tentacles which are almost morphing into leaves and branches of possible underwater flora.
- Ankle Octopus
A beautiful ankle tattoo. The octopus extends symmetrically to the side of the foot and the shin.
- The Eye of The Octopus
This shoulder and chest piece has a lot of colors. The octopus can be seen cradling a compass. A great tattoo idea for sea-farers and navigators.
- The Coral-Like Octopus
This is my favorite tattoo on this list. I absolutely love the colors here. Two shades of red, three shades of blue, some greys, and a little yellow and green action towards the end of the tentacles. The colors are slightly faded and the white suction pads which appear as dots make this tattoo an absolute delight to look at. The absence of definitive black lines is so refreshing in this tattoo.
- The Curious Octopus
Remember the picture at the start of this article, somebody decided to get a tattoo of the same. The octopus unscrewing the cap of this bottle signifies its curious nature.
- The Rust Brown Octopus
Octopuses change color all the time. This one seems like it was trying to camouflage itself to a sunken rusty ship in the background. This is a leg tattoo but the angle makes it hard to figure out if it really is indeed a leg tattoo.
- Deadly Tentacle Business
A simple line-drawing version of an octopus’ tentacles makes this tattoo really really effective. If you’re on slightly more ripped than the rest of us, then this is the tattoo for you.
- The Dragon-Inspired Octopus
Saved the best for last, the colors here in this tattoo remind me of the colors used to draw dragons by the ancient Chinese. Red and green are powerful statements. A perfect shoulder tattoo.
Wow! those were some amazing octopus tattoos, seriously! we didn’t get to see a single lame tattoo. I call that a victory. Maybe it’s impossible to have a lame octopus tattoo because octopuses are just so damn interesting. Anywho! It was great reading up on them and sharing these tattoo ideas with you. Go watch that documentary I mentioned at the beginning of the article. It’s something else!