Incredible Octopus Tattoo Ideas To Get Inspired

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Getting an octopus tattoo is an exciting adventure of amazing designs, fun placements and a plethora of tattoo style options.

Octopus tattoo is a maritime animal tattoo that carries many meanings, which every person can addapt to their own personal story.

Across the board these sea animals are a symbol of intellingence, mystery and illusion.

If you’re looking for octopus tattoo design, dive right in!

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Every Tattoo Has A Story – Octopus Tattoo Meaning

Octopuses are creatures with more than half a billion years of evolution.

They are extremely intelligent and resourceful, often deemed mischievous because of their capability to confuse the aggressor and being an escape artist.

Octopus (just like octopus tattoos) have a unique appearence, almost alien-like.

Octopuses are solitary creatures that live alone in dens built from rocks, which the octopus moves into place using its powerful arms.

The octopus’s are super smart and there are records of them being able to touch, smell, manipulate objects as well as dismantle the filtration systems of an aquarium tank. They can also develop opinions about people.

As they live on the bottom of the sea, they have also had this mysterious veil to every sea goer.

This has lead to them being in many mythologies around the globe, from Japan to the Nordics, all the way to modern day story of Ursula in the little mermaid.

Usually the villain, octopus legends are:

  • The Kraken is a sea monster from Norse sagas, that dwells off the coasts of Norway and Greenland and terrorizes nearby sailors; it is commonly tattooed along with a sunken ship tattoo.
  • The Escape Artist is an urban myth of several stories about octopuses escaping from their tanks in aquariums around the world.
  • The Villain is the common octopus trope that can be seen in Jules Verne‘s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, then to Ursula the Sea Witch in Disney’s retelling of The Little Mermaid, all the way to dr. Otto Octavius, or Doctor Octopus, is another villain from the Marvel Spider-Man series.
  • The Divine referrs to many cultures from South America to the Pacific Northwest, to the Polynesian Islands where octopuses were traditionally revered as divine protectors and spiritual guides. There are some traditional beliefs that the octopuses control the weather and have the power to heal the sick.

Best Octopus Tattoo Placements

The octopus tattoo has a wide range variety of placements to consider.

A small octopus tattoo is a good option, however this sea animal thrives in big designs.

It’s 8 tentacles and a large alien like body makes it a perfect choice for a sleeve tattoo.

Octopus sleeve tattoo can come with amazing backgrounds such as a theme from the deep sea or a pirate ship that’s been sunken for hundreds of years.

Another great placement is the hand. The octopus hand tattoo usually have the body of the octopus on the back of the hand with some tentacles traveling down the fingers, or up the forearm.

Additionally, many people like to get this type of a tattoo on their legs.

Popular choice is an octopus thigh tattoo, or for some even octopus butt tattoo. In this version the large detailed octopus travels down from the hip area, down the glutes and quadriceps, in some cases all the way to the knee and below.

Octopus Tattoo Ideas

To help you with your research for your next tattoo design, we went on a hunt through Instagram to find the best octopus tattoo ideas.

Take a look below to check them out all:

Small Octopus Tattoo

In the pop culture, especially movies and books, the octopus is seen as a large animal.

The reality is quite the contrary, as many octopus species are actually quite small.

So it’s no wonder many people actually want to get a small octopus tattoo. In the hands of the right tattoo artist, a small octopus tattoo can look just as alive and vibrant as its large version.

For maximum detail we shouldn’t expect tiny tattoos, but just look at these amazing examples that are under 4 inches!

Red Octopus Tattoo

The red octopus tattoo is inspired by its real life version red octopus species.

The normal color of this octopus is red or reddish brown, even though it can change its colors rather quickly – in a fraction of a second!

When interpreted by a tattoo artist it can the actual red octopus type, or the red ink would be used to draw the outline of the octopus.

Usually this tattoo covers a bigger space such as forearm or thigh, but not necessarily so.

The deep reds and browns make it perfect for a realistic tattoo that will amaze everybody.

Traditional Octopus Tattoo

The octopus has fascinated people for thousands of years which makes it a very old visual symbol.

Naturally, as sailors were the most common to get tattoos that they would relate to an octopus tattoo.

The sailor Jerry tattoos often feature octopus in their tattoo flash folders, given the deep meaning of this maritime motif.

The traditional octopus tattoo can be done in solely black ink, as well as in strong reds and blues, especially in the neotraditional tattoo style.

Japanese Octopus Tattoo

In traditional Japanese folklore, the octopus often symbolizes transformation and regeneration, and healing powers.

The octopuses ability to change color has been fascinating to the Japanese people leading to them writing stories and tales of this shapeshifting creature.

This transformative nature of the octopus is portrayed wonderfully in the Japanese tattoo art where the octopus glows with red color.

Its tentacles are contrasted and intertwined with other common Irezumi tattoo elements such as waves and other sea animals.

Lady Octopus Tattoo

Lady Octopus is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, primarily as an enemy to the superheroes Spider-Man and Scarlet Spider.

However as seen in the examples of the lady octopus tattoo below this fusion of animal and feminine has been fascinating too many tattoo artists and tattoo lovers alike.

This surreal mix has been done in many tattoo styles from fine line to realism.

The combination of a gory villain creature and the beautiful female face has also been seen in the likes of a medusa tattoo. For women getting them it’s a sign of strength and regained power.

Octopus Tattoo Sleeve

Tattoo sleeves come in different levels of complexity and an octopus sleeve tattoo definitely falls among the more complex ones.

Some choose to have only the octopus and its large tentacles wrapping around the arm or leg, whereas others choose to back it up with a dark background from the depths of the ocean.

It’s definitely a bold choice that will gardener you a lot of attention, and in a good way.

For those that do not want a dark tattoo, you can play with bright and vibrant colors such as blue, orange and red for fun sea tattoo.

Octopus Hand Tattoo

The octopus hand tattoo is one that carries a lot of meaning, as well as it looks cool.

As octopuses are capable of limb regeneration, getting one of them tattooed on your hands means that you are capable of overcoming adversity and growth.

For the design you can choose which way you would like the octopus to be positioned, with its tentacles either traveling down the fingers or up the forearm.

Octopus Thigh Tattoo

People who get an octopus thigh tattoo, get it for multiple reasons.

First, because it symbolizes power creativity, power, and intelligence.

Then, for those looking to get a variety of other sea creatures, it’s a great main element to base the rest of the tattoo around.

It is a bold and sometimes intimidating design, both in its placement and theme.

Are you looking for a custom octopus tattoo design? We got you.

Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤

Milena Petrovic

Milena Petrovic

Co-founder of Tattoo Stylist

About the author

Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.

You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!

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