Home » 20 Incredible Octopus Tattoo Design & Ideas with Meaning

20 Incredible Octopus Tattoo Design & Ideas with Meaning

An octopus is one of the most unusual and fascinating creatures. Everything about it is so striking that it is no wonder the sea creature is considered a popular tattoo option.

An octopus tattoo is a popular, trending option for reasons beyond its unique physical characteristics. Creative tattoo artists can design and ink artsy variations of octopi for different body placement preferences of clients. As seen in this article, the outcomes look fantastic and have a depth of symbolism.

These ocean creatures grab our attention due to their eight arms (tentacles), big eyes, and bulbous head. Furthermore, these blue-blooded creatures are boneless with three hearts. Not having a single bone in their body means they can squeeze through tight spaces. They can even squirt ink to chase away their predators.

Well-equipped, talented tattooists can make octopus tattoos further exotic by adding other exciting elements and variations in color. Today, there are countless options to confuse the heck out of you!

This article makes it easier for you. I’ve limited my selection to the 20 most striking, trending octopus tattoo designs found on the internet. The source/artist information given alongside will help you approach each artist directly to explore more of their fantastic work.

Read on and take pleasure through our extensive research findings.

Top 20 Octopus Tattoo Designs

#1. Intricate Octopus On Chest Tattoo

Intricate Octopus On Chest Tattoo
Source: @la2wolf via Instagram

This chest piece looks perfect, extending over three body parts: pectoral, shoulder, and part of the bicep. The octopus design is excellent for such creative coverage, thanks to the tentacles.

#2. Octopus Arm Tattoo

Octopus Arm Tattoo
Source: @jersonfilhotattoo via Instagram

This excellent, black, and grey octopus looks incredible on a man’s upper arm. The octopus, among other traits, is known for its strength. Hence, the upper arm is a suitable spot to express the best of your masculinity.

#3. Octopus In A Hat Tattoo

Octopus In A Hat Tattoo
Source: @mugsey.munster via Instagram

#4. Tiny Octopus Tattoo

Tiny Octopus Tattoo
Source: @heomidori via Instagram

#5. Octopus & Skull Tattoo

Octopus & Skull Tattoo
Source: @tattooist_da.one via Instagram

This thoughtful yet intimidating design symbolizes danger, death, and mystery. The skull added to the octopus is a robust design, and the best placement is the shoulder, upper arm region.

#6. Octopus With Umbrella Tattoo

Octopus With Umbrella Tattoo
Source: @tat_brandie via Instagram

This unrealistic octopus design represents umbrella octopuses. Umbrella octopuses live at the ocean’s greatest depths, and they don’t have ink sacs like all the other octopus species.

#7. Octopus Tattoo On Hand

Octopus Tattoo On Hand
Source: @customtattoosbymark via Instagram

Due to its arms, an octopus doesn’t look out of place inked on the hand and fingers. However, your octopus hand (pun intended) is capable of a lot more than you think!

#8. Pink Octopus Tattoo

Pink Octopus Tattoo
Source: @milo_tattoons via Instagram

Pink is one of the colors an octopus can camouflage. The other colors are brown, blue, or green. This design looks ideal for a female bicep.

#9. Gypsy Octopus Tattoo

Gypsy Octopus Tattoo
Source: @artoficialautumn via Instagram

#10. Realistic Octopus Tattoo

Realistic Octopus Tattoo
Source: @relentlessbetrayal via Instagram

The above is an accurate, realistic depiction of the feared deep-sea creature. It looks remarkable if engraved to perfection on the forearm.

#11. Colorful Octopus Tattoo

Colorful Octopus Tattoo
Source: @northmountaintattoo via Instagram

Multiple color tattoos always stick out in the crowd. The use of bright colors adds magic and grabs eyeballs. This tattoo is perfect if you want your octopus design to look vibrant and exciting.

#12. Lower Back Octopus Tattoo

Lower Back Octopus Tattoo
Source: @sarah_leghjones via Instagram

For ladies, getting a tattoo on the lower back is a way to define those female contours. Add to that a bright, red octopus, and the effect couldn’t be any sexier. 

#13. Black & Grey Octopus Design

Black & Grey Octopus Design
Source: @rastatuaria via Instagram

Bold, bikini-clad women can’t go wrong with this choice. The octopus moves around smoothly and fluidly in the deep seas. The hidden placement is perfect for this significant, meaningful work of art.

#14. Octopus & Diver Sleeve Tattoo

Octopus & Diver Sleeve Tattoo
Source: @curtyoung via Instagram

Deep-sea divers for ages have studied marine life, including the mysterious octopus. This arm piece shows that relationship (divers and octopus) using an impressive level of detail. 

#15. Octopus Tattoo On Rib

Octopus Tattoo On Rib
Source: @la__onda__inc via Instagram

The rib cage is a painful spot for a tattoo. No pain, no gain. The result is astonishing; the aqua colors add to the glory as they suit the above skin tone.

#16. Colorful Upper Back & Shoulder Octopus Tattoo

Colorful Upper Back & Shoulder Octopus Tattoo
Source: @brilliantattoo via Instagram

The above tattoo is another fabulous piece for a man or woman. The ocean and octopus composition sit beautifully on her upper-right back placement. The colors are vivid yet ocean-themed.

#17. Geometric Octopus Tattoo

Geometric Octopus Tattoo
Source: @jkladzyktattoo via Instagram

Geometric designs as it is are many people’s favorite type of tattoos. Add to that an octopus theme, and you have yourself a rich, meaningful design. The triangle symbolizes strength, harmony, creativity, and mystery. All of which are in common with the characteristics of an octopus. Also, the triangle is an important symbol in both Christianity and Judaism.

#18. Watercolor Octopus Tattoo

Watercolor Octopus Tattoo
Source: @lenamaotattoo via Instagram

Watercolor-type tattoo fans always look for watercolor-type tattoos no matter what their new element of choice is. The above is a fantastic rib placement octopus with stunning feminine colors inked in watercolor style.

#19. Chest Octopus Tattoo

Chest Octopus Tattoo
Source: @jeremysoto_tattoo via Instagram

The chest is a preferred spot for an octopus tattoo for men. The above is a 3D, black, and grey pectoral tattoo exuding a subtle yet striking look.

#20. Large Octopus Tattoo

Large Octopus Tattoo
Source: @nickkingtattoo via Instagram

Super large octopus tattoos aren’t rare in both men and women. The octopus is a large sea creature, and it’s one of those tattoo options that look best in larger sizes. In the above depiction, the man’s entire side portion of his rib, back, hip, and thigh get included for the remarkable design. Due to the physical characteristics of the octopus, as a tattoo design, it covers multiple body placements in one go.

Symbolism Of Octopus Tattoos

There are all kinds of sea creatures we admire. Whales, dolphins, crabs, and starfish, to name a few. Yet, it’s the octopus that bedazzles us most. People get compelled to desire octopus tattoos due to the many incredible meanings and symbols associated with the fascinating ocean creature. 

Here are some of those meanings of the mysterious and elusive undersea creature:

Spiritual Symbolism

An octopus tattoos spiritual symbolism has to do with self-healing. This trait is associated with an octopus’ ability to heal itself. The symbolic meaning here is “being able to overcome all obstacles” in one’s life. An octopus overcomes these obstacles and challenges, which is why it’s commonly categorized among the most intelligent and innovative creatures on our planet.    

Football enthusiasts would recall how an octopus named Paul played a totemic guide to predicting association football matches. But, debatable as it may seem, it turned out Paul’s predictions had veracious, though mysterious, credibility.

Religious Symbolism

Christians believe the octopus is a demon from the oceans. It drags you into darkness. As a result, you get blocked from enjoying the good life has in store. Many even perceive the octopus as neither good nor evil. In line with that latest thinking, a tattoo featuring an octopus is sought after by many for being symbolic of having had a dark past eventually overcome and led into a brighter, more extraordinary life.

It’s fair to say, Christian art has evolved to portray the octopus as a symbol of great mystery, intelligence, uncertainty, flexibility, flow, and adaptability.

Magical Knowledge

If there’s anything that fully justifies being a symbol of magical knowledge, instant decision-making, and multitasking, it’s the octopus. If you want body art that reminds you to overcome all your fears by having the ability to tap into danger all the time, go for the octopus tattoo.

Cultural/Tribal Symbolism

Among the many tribes in this world, the Polynesians give the octopus the most significant importance. An octopus tattoo is quite common among Polynesian cultures. The solid cultural link here is that Polynesians believe that the octopus is the ruler of the ocean — called ‘Kanaloa.’ Kanaloa (or octopus) represents freedom. They have the astounding ability to escape different dangers and traps. Octopuses are intelligent, devoted, and influential. They’re also creatures with incredible skill in fluidly making escapes while creating an illusion.   


Q. What’s the symbolism of an octopus tattoo?

The general meaning of octopus tattoos across cultures is the same: they represent strength, mystery, illusion, fluidity, and intelligence. They are feared yet admired. However, the meaning behind each octopus tattoo is unique, especially if the artist has clubbed other design elements to give it further appeal. The imagery shared earlier in this article shows that octopus tattoos can club with things like a skull, anchor, etc. While the former represents the life cycle, the latter signifies a balance of stability and uncertainty.

Q. What is a Kraken tattoo, and what does it mean?

A Kraken is a Scandinavian, mythological, folklore sea monster. According to legend, the mighty beast (that looked like a giant squid) is known for attacking ships. Its enormous size and aggressive nature would terrify the sailors at sea. Hence, a Kraken tattoo stands to mean incredible strength, mystery, and intelligence. It is also representative of renewal and rebirth, as the gigantic beast could regenerate its lost limbs.


What makes the above octopus tattoo designs even more mesmerizing are their symbolic meanings. Through this article, you would’ve discovered what makes this fear-instilling ocean creature so sought after in the tattoo world. It is repetitive, but I can’t stress enough, this design idea gets love for the symbolisms: illusion, danger, intelligence, and, above all, mystery. Always remember: your tattoo and skin deserve the best aftercare after getting inked. A recommended aftercare regimen is crucial for the long-term upkeep and vibrancy of the tattoo.

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!