Octopus Tattoos: Meaning & Styles Explained

As tattoos continue to grow in popularity, more and more people are looking to get creative with their ink.

One design that is becoming increasingly popular is the octopus tattoo. But what does this sea creature symbolize, and why are so many people choosing to get it inked on their skin?

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the meaning and symbolism of octopus tattoos and explore some of the reasons why they have become such a popular choice.

History Of Octopus Tattoos

Human beings have a habit of placing meaning on the objects and creatures that surround them.

So, it is unsurprising that octopuses hold significant symbolism in cultures around the world.

Thanks to ingenuity and resourcefulness, the octopus has come to represent traits such as intelligence, growth, perseverance, and creativity.

Because the octopus represents such positive traits, it has become a popular tattoo subject for many.

For example, the octopus is a popular feature in Japanese tattoos.

In the context of a Japanese tattoo, the octopus often represents intelligence, but also wildness.

Thanks to ingenuity and resourcefulness, the octopus has come to represent traits such as intelligence, growth, perseverance, and creativity.

Octopus Tattoo Meaning


Octopuses have long been considered symbols of intelligence, due to their complex behaviour and diverse set of skills.

Octopuses are able to solve problems, navigate through mazes, and even use tools.

They have also been known to exhibit signs of mimicry and as well as compassion. In addition, octopuses have a highly developed sense of touch that allows them to “taste” with their tentacles.

This unique ability allows them to distinguish between different textures and flavours, which are thought to be linked to their intelligence.


Octopuses are often seen as symbols of growth and change. After all, they are creatures that are constantly changing and adapting to their surroundings.

They are also highly intelligent, and able to solve complex problems.

For these reasons, octopuses have been used as a symbol of growth and change in many cultures and traditions.


The octopus is an incredible creature that has long been revered for its intelligence and ingenuity. But the octopus is also a powerful symbol of perseverance.

This is because the octopus is able to adapt to changing environments and overcome obstacles with ease.

For example, when an octopus is faced with a predator, it will quickly change its colour and texture to blend in with its surroundings.

Octopuses are also able to squeeze through tiny spaces and use their suction cups to climb up vertical surfaces.

These remarkable abilities have led many people to see the octopus as a symbol of strength and determination.

In difficult times, we can all take inspiration from the octopus and find ways to persevere.


The octopus is a fascinating creature that has long been associated with creativity and intelligence.

Octopuses are known for their ability to change their appearance, which is thought to be a result of their highly developed nervous system.

This ability to adapt and change has led many cultures to view the octopus as a symbol of creativity.

In addition, octopuses are also known for their problem-solving skills.

They have been known to escape from cages and solve complex puzzles, demonstrating an impressive degree of intelligence.

For these reasons, the octopus is often seen as a symbol of creativity, making it an ideal tattoo subject for out-of-the-box thinkers.


In Japanese tattoos specifically, the octopus can represent wildness.

So, if you choose to get an octopus tattoo, it could represent both your strong mind and intelligence, along with your wild spirit.

Octopus Tattoos In Different Cultures

Japanese Octopus Tattoos

There is no denying that the octopus is a significant and well-known piece of Japanese culture.

After all, Japan is an island and seafood is a prevalent part of Japanese Cuisine.

So, don’t be surprised if you see the octopus tattoed in a Japanese style.

However, the Kraken-like Akkorokamui is another lesser-known piece of Japanese culture that is often depicted in tattoo form.

Akkorokamui is a giant octopus-like monster that is said to live in the sea off the coast of Japan.

It is described as being red, with a body that is covered in scales and spikes.

Akkorokamui is said to be so large that it can swallow ships whole, and it is capable of causing great storms and floods.

Some believe that Akkorokamui is a real creature, while others think that it may be a legend or myth.

Regardless of its existence, the legend of Akkorokamui continues to fascinate people to this day and makes for a pretty badass tattoo.

Polynesian Octopus Tattoos

The octopus is a fascinating creature that has long been revered in Polynesian culture. Unsurprisingly, it has also a popular design among Polynesians with tattoos.

In Polynesia, the octopus is seen as a symbol of strength and power, and it is often used in traditional art and mythology.

The octopus is also a popular food source in Polynesia, and its tentacles are considered a delicacy.

While the octopus may be seen as a menacing creature by some, in Polynesia it is respected and admired for its uniqueness.

Octopus Tattoo Placement

Thanks to the octopus’ eight tentacles, these creatures make great tattoos that can be customized to suit the contours of your body.

But where should you place your octopus tattoo?

Here are some of the most popular locations for octopus tattoo placement.

Note: When choosing a placement for your octopus tattoo, keep in mind that the size and design of the tattoo will play a role in determining where it looks best on your body.


There are many different ways to place an octopus tattoo on your back.

One option is to place the octopus in the center of your back, with its tentacles reaching up towards your shoulders.

Another option is to place the octopus lower down on your back, near the top of your lower back area.

This placement is especially popular with women, as it can help to accentuate curves.

Octopus tattoos can also be placed on either side of the spine, or along the length of the spine itself.

Whatever placement you choose, an octopus tattoo is sure to make a statement.


The thigh is a popular spot for this type of tattoo, as it offers plenty of space for the octopus to stretch out its tentacles.

Plus, the thigh is often visible in shorts or skirts, giving you the opportunity to show off your new ink.


One popular spot for octopus tattoos is the arm.

This placement allows for a large canvas, giving the artist plenty of room to work with.

Octopus tattoos on the arm can be wrapped around the bicep or placed on the forearm.

Thanks to the octopus’ eight tentacles, these creatures make great tattoos that can be customized to suit the contours of your body.

Octopus Tattoo Ideas

Octopuses make versatile tattoos and there are a lot of different ideas to choose from.

Here are some ideas for inspiration!

Realistic Octopus Tattoo

This small realistic style of octopus tattoo is a great option for those in search of something simple.

Octopus Skull Tattoo

This design is a dark take on an octopus tattoo. Instead of of regular octopus, this design swaps the animal’s head with a scary skull.

Spotted Octopus Tattoo

This realistic design is unique thanks to it’s inky-looking spots.

Angry Octopus Tattoo

This design depicts a very angry-looking octopus who looks ready to strike.

Colourful Octopus Tattoo

This colourful design includes not just an octopus but a full underwater scene.

Cartoon Octopus Bath Tattoo

This cartoony octopus tattoo appears to show a cute little octopus bathing with a sponge.

Octopus In Bottle Tattoo

Did you know that octopuses can fit in tiny little spaces? Well, this tattoo depicts an octopus crammed in a glass bottle.

Cute Octopus Paper Boat Tattoo

This cute design is a great option for those after a less realistic octopus tattoo. This guy is so cute!

Why Octopuses Make Great Tattoos

Despite their popularity, octopus tattoos still carry a certain level of mystery and intrigue.

Strong Meaning & Symbolism

Chances are, if you are looking to get a new tattoo, you want something with a strong meaning.

Thanks to the strong traits that octopuses represent — such as intelligence and creativity — these creatures make for great, meaningful tattoos.

With so much meaning to choose from, it’s likely that most people could find some reason to get an octopus tattoo.

Versatile Design

There’s no denying that octopuses look very interesting.

Aside from the squid, there is no other creature which resembles the octopus.

Their eight tentacles also make them ideal for creating interesting tattoo designs shaped to fit the contours of your body.

Should You Get An Octopus Tattoo?

If you are on the fence about whether or not to get an octopus tattoo, consider whether or not the traits that octopuses symbolize are something you see in yourself.

Octopus tattoos are unique and can be customized in a variety of ways to reflect the wearer’s personality.

Octopus tattoos can have various meanings, depending on the individual and the design they choose.

If you’re thinking about getting an octopus tattoo, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable artist who can help you create a design that is perfect for you.

Octopus tattoos are unique and can be customized in a variety of ways to reflect the wearer’s personality.

Final Thoughts

If you are thinking about getting an octopus tattoo, be sure to do your research so that you can choose a style and design that has personal significance for you.

Octopus tattoos are a great way to show your love for marine life and sea creatures, and they can also be used to represent intelligence, creativity, wildness, and adaptability.

If these things apply to you, then an octopus design just might be the right choice for your next tattoo.

Thanks for reading!