Meaning of Octopus Tattoo

When it comes to the octopus, it can sometimes seem rather strange that someone may have the creature tattooed upon their skin, but actually there is a rather interesting reason behind it.

The octopus is a popular choice because it symbolizes a few different things.

Regeneration is one of those meanings – almost like being able to regenerate oneself like the protagonist in Doctor Who. Now that is an interesting idea!

But also it is a symbol of intelligence and achievement, two things we admire about ourselves and other people. We all strive to achieve through intelligent thought, right?

Much to the likeness of an octopus (or a squid), it has chameleon-like qualities that can portray lots of different colors, as well as being able to be tattooed in a true-to-life style or cartoonish – letting the tattoo artist have at it.

Seeing as you are here you must be quite interested in the octopus tattoo, so let us delve in further to find out why they are so interesting.

What Is An Octopus Tattoo?

In simple terms, an octopus tattoo is just that, a tattoo of an octopus. It can also be referred to as a squid, however, because when it comes to tattoos, they are both quite the same. 

Both of these sea creatures have eight really long tentacles that sprawl all over the place, giving it that recogniseable image we know as being an octopus or squid.

It then has quite a large, round, bulbous type body that holds its round eyes.

Even though we all know that it is an octopus or squid, descriptions can vary depending on who describes it and what ‘style’ of tattoo the person wants.

There is no go-to look for this type of creature, which is just like many other tattoo designs of animals and the like out there.

Whether it is an octopus or a squid, some are different shades of gray whilst another could be bright blue.

The ultimate goal is to show that it has eight legs but also that it does not resemble a spider, of course!

Some can be tattooed with a couple of colors, whilst another may have five. It really is all about preference. 

Placement of the Tattoo

If you are looking to get an octopus tattooed on your body, then firstly you are going to need to consider how big or small the tattoo will likely be.

Due to its tentacles, you will want to make sure you can fit these in without having to squish them into the tattoo and the area. 

A smaller octopus will look great on an ankle or wrist, especially if you want something cuter rather than super detailed.

If you are looking for definition and character, then choose a larger surface area such as the upper arm, chest or back. This way you can use the space to accommodate the tentacles. 

Who Normally Gets An Octopus Tattoo?

There is no general person who gets an octopus tattoo because both men and women tend to have them, but it may be for different reasons.

Looking at it from a general perspective, women tend to get octopus tattoos because of the aspects of creativity, intelligence and imagination.

Men on the other hand do so in order to represent fierceness and overcoming obstacles. But this can be interchangeable as one gender does not necessarily choose one representation over the other.

Who Normally Gets An Octopus Tattoo?

Why Choose An Octopus Tattoo?

An octopus is an exciting choice because it can represent so much (we shall look at what in a second).

Also, they are mysterious creatures in the sea who change color to avoid predators, or if they are a squid, they can produce a cloud of black ink to disappear and avoid being attacked.

They also represent a number of things and some may be meaningful to you, hence why people get the octopus tattooed on them.

Also, just like with other tattoos, it is great to get artwork that will mean something to you ten years down the line.

The common meanings behind the octopus are:

  • Perseverance
  • Intelligence
  • Regrowth
  • The ability to change
  • Mystery
  • Magic
  • To overcome difficulty
  • To overcome loss
  • Creativity

The Symbolization of the Octopus Tattoo

There are different themes when it comes to the octopus. The good thing about this creature is that it can fit into so many different themes to suit the type of tattoos that you want on your body. 

So, it really is a versatile sea creature that symbolizes a lot of things – and those things might mean something to you. So, let us look into the tattoo themes in more detail.

  • Realistic Octopus

There is something admirable about a realistic looking octopus.

Not only is it appealing to those who are after nautical themes or who love the wonders of nature, but it also symbolizes the importance of living and all the things that make up life. 

Usually a realistic octopus tattoo is peacefully depicted, floating amongst the waves of the sea or being playful wrapping its long tentacles around objects. 

  • Fantasy Octopus

Another popular theme is fantasy, and the octopus is a common creature to have included.

Depending on their color they may represent different themes, such as if the octopus is done in hues of purple and blue, it normally depicts a magical theme.

Some may appear typically friendly which may represent the lightheartedness of a children’s story. Overall, the fantasy tattoo of an octopus can represent spiritual growth, imagination, mystery and magic.

  • Japanese Style

In the Japanese style of tattoo, normally the octopus is represented as a squid.

Symbolizations used within the tattoo such as color are very important to convey a theme, and often the squid is combined with other things such as a flower or waves for extra symbolization.

  • Skull

The skull octopus tattoo is a hybrid image of both an octopus and a skull head, with the skull head being a part of the octopus.

Usually it is done in a black and white color format which helps the definition of the skull pop. 

  • Elephant Hybrid

Just like with the skull, the elephant is a hybrid tattoo that shows an elephant, along with its full trunk as one of the eight tentacles, as having an octopus body.

Meaning of Octopus Tattoo
Credit: neavetattoo

When it is an animal hybrid, it takes on both the characteristics. It symbolizes ancient wisdom and any undiscovered old mysteries.

  • Blue Ringed

This one might seem a little scary but it is also a really popular tattoo to have when it comes to an octopus.

The octopus is depicted as small but extremely powerful that has the ability to kill humans – I know, we said it seems a little scary. It actually symbolizes that you as a person are able to strike whenever and wherever, and are ready to do so.

This is also regardless of your own stature, including if you are small in height. 

Last Words

The octopus tattoo is a magical sea creature to have upon the body. It represents so many things from regrowth and perseverance, to mystery and creativity.

It is suitable for anyone, and can help to give the tattoo you are about to have meaning for the rest of your life.

Max Peters