Freaky-Fabulous Octopus Tattoo Meaning and Symbolism

Updated on February 28, 2019
EditorAnna profile image

Got my first tattoo at 18, then waited 32 years to get another. Meanwhile, I'm the editor of TatRing, a body art website.

Source

Octopus Tattoo Ideas, Designs, and Meanings

Octopuses are magical creatures. They live from the coastal shallows down to depths of more than 300 feet. A 600-pound octopus can squeeze through a quarter-sized hole. They have no bones and eight arms studded with suction cups! Mind-bogglingly intelligent, superhumanly dexterous, and oddly unfathomable, they're like unicorns or fairies, only out in the open for all to see.

There's just something weird and otherworldly about them. A group of scientists recently published a paper that seriously suggested that octopuses might have come from outer space. It's a controversial idea, one that doesn't have a wide following in scientific communities, but still, the existence of this paper underlines the idea that there's something instinctively "other" about an octopus.

Then there was that thrilling news story about Inky, the octopus that escaped from New Zealand's National Aquarium by busting out of an aquarium, dragging itself across the floor, jimmying open the drainpipe, sliding down 50 meters, and releasing itself into the sea, and anyone who read that story was struck by the cold, hard fact that octopuses are of off-the-charts geniuses.

Anyway, octopuses are freaky-fabulous. No wonder you're considering an octopus tattoo.

Source
Source

What Does an Octopus Tattoo Mean or Represent?

  • Physical and Mental Intelligence and Dexterity. An octopus can unscrew a lid, flip a switch, use a tool, and plot and carry out a crazy escape scheme.
  • Tenacity and Devotion. It probably has something to do with all those suction cups. Once an octopus grabs onto something, it's hard to get it to let go. An octopus might guard her brood of eggs for 4.5 years, which makes her maternal patience longer than any other creature's.
  • Illusion and Magic. A huge, hulking octopus can magically camouflage itself, pretend to be a fish, fit itself through a tiny hole, and disappear into a cloud of ink: Now you see it, now you don't. If it loses an arm, it can grow another. Not only that but the severed arm will move and act like it is still attached.
  • Freedom or Escape. Like Houdini, it seems as though these creatures might be able to free themselves from any enclosure or setting.
  • Changeability, Adaptability, and Flexibility. Its soft, boneless body can shift into any shape. It can change its own texture and color in a snap to blend into any background.
  • Symmetry and Balance. Because they both have eight arms (or legs), they might represent a mandala or a spiderweb, and since octopus and spiders both have eight limbs, they might represent similar ideas.
  • Regeneration, Creation, and Transformation. Like lizards and their tails, an octopus can leave an arm behind if they need a quick escape. It makes something out of nothing.
  • A Combination of Strength and Sensitivity. Octopuses are an amazing combination of opposites. Those soft, boneless arms that can rip oysters apart. Those rubbery suction cups that can hold up to 35 pounds.
  • Rule-Breaking and Nonconformity. They do not conform to any rules, forms, or They walk on land, even though they shouldn't be able to.
  • Otherworldly, Otherness, "Other." There is just something bizarre about the octopus—its body, its talents, its existence.

Source

What Does the Number 8 Mean in Numerology and Tarot?

  • In numerology, eight—more than any other number—emphasizes career, business, money, authority, and the material world.
  • Although it is driven and motivated towards results in the material world, 8-ness isn't selfish or greedy. It uses money as a powerful tool, a means to an end, an energy to fuel the game.
  • The qualities associated with 8 are ambition, forward motion, authority, drive, control, discipline, assertion, ambition, efficiency, organization, management, and discipline. Picture eight arms all working diligently and independently toward a united goal.
  • Eight is also about cycles, progress, revolution, and evolutions.
  • All you have to do is look at the number's shape to understand its fundamental balance. An 8 is curvy, fluid, stable, symmetrical, It is formed with one single, smooth, confident gesture. Lay it on its side and it turns into the symbol for infinity: ∞. It ends where it begins: it is a closed loop of energy, constantly renewing.
  • An 8 balances creation and destruction, material and spiritual worlds.

Source
Source

The History of the Octopus Tattoo

In many mythologies, you'll find multi-tentacled creatures from the deep.

  • In Norse mythology, the Kraken (of ancient Scandinavia) lives off the coasts of Norway and Greenland.
  • The Cthulhu, a alien imagined by H.P. Lovecraft, had a gigantic octopus head.
  • Giant cephalopods, octopuses or squids, have important roles in literature: Melville's Moby-Dick, Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring, and Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Source
Source

Octopus Shoulder Tattoo

There's something about the shape of an octopus that makes it perfect for a shoulder placement. The way it drapes so symmetrically, the long curling tentacles, all make for a lovely shape when inked on the top of the shoulder. Like an epaulette.

Source

Symbols That Combine Well With Octopuses

  • Nautical motifs: boats, anchors, nautical stars, shells, treasure, maps, pirate motifs, etc.
  • Water, waves, or the color blue.
  • Spiders or spiderwebs: Maybe it's the eight limbs, or maybe it's their symmetry.
  • Tools, pens, and other instruments. After all, those eight legs need something to hold.

Source

Design Ideas for Octopus Tattoos

What color ink?

Since the design can be so complicated on its own, most people choose to keep the color simple and monochrome. Blackwork is, of course, the most popular choice, followed by blue, red, and pretty much any other color you can imagine.

What style?

An octopus could be tattooed in any style, but you mostly see them done in old school, traditional, or realistic.

Source

What about you?

Would you consider getting an octopus tattoo?

See results

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, tatring.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://tatring.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)