Jacques Cousteau said about the sea that “once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” That’s absolutely true. There’s something about the ocean that calls us, intrigues, and lures us to its immensity and magic. But because of that, it can also be quite a dangerous and mischievous place. Most of us have grown with that great teaching that says that the sea must be faced with great respect because it can be capricious, stubborn, and even deadly. You really can’t argue with that. So, for that reason, sea creatures usually symbolize resilience and strength. Not only do they have to face the different sea currents, but they also have to survive the dangers lurking in the depths. If you’re looking for a great design that represents that strong and resilient soul of yours that won’t give up, here are some of the creatures that, apart from their impressive strength, are associated to other great traits, just like you.
@momotattoos / @jeanpaulmarat / @moran_tattoos
Whales are impressive animals, not only for their majestic air, but also because they’re often seen as regal yet lethal. As one of those creatures that have been immortalized in culture through literature and myth, whales hold a lot of symbolism and meaning. But besides that dangerous side we tend to associate them to, these animals represent a great sense of communication and close family bonds, which is very important for most people.
@portcitytattooconc / @benmattheystattooing / @goodmancreates
We often associate crabs with negative ideas because they are thought to walk backwards. Well, as we know now, there’s nothing true about that notion. Actually, these animals walk sidewards, which is something that we could apply to our everyday life (not literally of course). Sometimes we tend to believe that we always have to go onwards to achieve things in life, but we end up missing what’s right next to us, and for that reason, a crab tattoo can be a great reminder to pay more attention to our present rather than just focusing on the future (or even the past).
@thestudiodesignyourself / @fantattoo531 / @junkandjail
If whales have been historically associated with danger, the shark has an even worse reputation. However, there are so many things we can learn from sharks that we should try to adapt to our daily life. They are confident creatures with great determination and authority. They know what they want, and they just go for it right away. Isn’t that appealing? If, like sharks, you have clear goals you’re determined to achieve, why not get a tat that matches this strong nature?
@floratattoo_pl / @tattooed_waves1 / @vicw.tattoo
Most crustaceans are thought to symbolize protection and reservation due to their harsh exoskeleton. Actually, sometimes what we need in life is that self-awareness to protect ourselves and a bit of self-reflection to really know what we want in life. But besides this, and the cute reference from Friends, lobsters also symbolize regeneration and transformation. So, if you’re looking for a tattoo that truly reflects that changing moment in your life, these lobsters can be your best choice.
@slonenkotattoo / @romainkew / @luciapiantoni.tattoo
I’ve always thought that starfish are some of the most beautiful sea creatures of them all. Their colors and shapes are simply gorgeous and alluring, but actually, besides symbolizing beauty and grace, these creatures also represent healing and renewal. Sometimes, what we need when we’re going through a rough, painful moment is something that pushes us to move on and grow as people. For example, when these creatures lose a limb, they have to let the wound heal before they start the regenerating process they’re famous for. Isn’t that exactly what we should do (in a less literal way) when we get hurt?
@kalula_tattoo / @graffittoo / @x_.tattoos._x
Stingrays and manta rays have a great sense of direction and maneuverability when going with the current and against it. Besides the general perspective of being highly dangerous creatures, they actually represent healing and nurturing. Yes, they can be rebellious creatures, but how could you survive the perils of the ocean without a strong and often defiant attitude?
@guiliadelbiancotattoo / @kudutattoo / @mariakubit
Although jellyfish can cause intense burns and pain, these beautiful creatures are often associated with love, and it couldn’t be more accurate. Love is the most amazing feeling in the world, and just as we get lured by jellyfish’s colors and ethereal looks, we tend to follow blindly this emotion, to the point that we risk getting hurt. Still, this is also a creature that symbolizes self-acceptance and power, something we should always bear in mind.
@8ofswordstattoo / @donthaveahome / @dottheglobtattoo
In many ancient cultures, seahorses were considered sacred and divine creatures or spiritual guides and seekers. Since they’re not the fastest swimmers, but rather go slowly from spot to spot, they are often associated with patience and perseverance, and for that reason, they can be the best guides in life. If you’re looking for a great reminder of where you want your life to go, the seahorse will never let you down.
The ocean is a vast and mysterious territory where millions of creatures fight every day for their survival. For that reason, these are truly the best examples of resilience and determination, and great guides to follow in our own daily lives.
If you want more ideas for a meaningful tattoo, take a look at these:
The Deep Meaning Behind A Cherry Blossom Tattoo
16 Dreamcatcher Tattoos To Gain Protection
Why Your Chinese Zodiac Sign Is The Best Choice For Your Next Tattoo
Cover photo by @bullstrep_ink