The open sea has been the premier representation of human freedom and exploration for centuries, prompting many people to show their appreciation of all things aquatic with a vast number of sea tattoos. Making up 75% of the Earth’s surface, it only makes sense that people would derive inspiration and show their appreciation for the open water and fantastical marine life that inhabit oceans all around the world.
The most common form of sea tattoos is the anchor, which has been branded to the arms of sailors everywhere long enough to be considered one of the oldest tattoo designs ever utilized. It’s a go to symbol of stability, and is often used to represent a strong bond between significant others or particular beliefs and life philosophies. However, over the years the anchor has been used to mean just about anything depending on the symbols it’s paired with.
In ancient times, many sea tattoos depicted sea gods and were used as a way to appeal to the god’s in hopes of being granted safe passage along the open waters. Although nowadays most sea tattoos seek to celebrate the various unique styles of sea life and personality, like the beautiful jeweled octopus and ferocious shark depicted below.
The sea offers people a myriad of symbolic imagery to choose from when getting a tattoo, whether it’s the guiding light of a lighthouse or the mysterious elegance of a ship set adrift at night. Even people who don’t necessarily feel fond of the sea can usually find a sail-worthy sea tattoo that appeals to their inner-self.
The next time you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, take a bit of time to look at some sea designs. You never know when one might call to you like a siren’s song during a long voyage across the Atlantic.