120+ Awesome Octopus Tattoo Designs

If you’re searching for a tattoo design that’s as unique and versatile as you are, look no further than the octopus. An octopus tattoo can be a stunning visual spectacle, but beyond its aesthetic appeal, it’s also rich in symbolism. This article will dive into the world of octopus tattoos, exploring their meanings, popular styles, and design ideas that can inspire your next ink.

Unlocking the Symbolism of the Octopus Tattoo

To understand the allure of the octopus tattoo, we must first delve into what this fascinating creature represents.

The Octopus: A Symbol of Fluidity and Adaptability

One of the most striking characteristics of the octopus is its remarkable adaptability. This creature can change its color and shape to blend seamlessly with its environment, symbolizing adaptability and flexibility. An octopus tattoo can be a powerful reminder of your ability to adapt to life’s challenges and navigate through difficult times.

The Octopus and the Depths of the Unconscious

The octopus resides in the depths of the ocean, a realm that is often associated with the unconscious mind and hidden emotions. In this context, an octopus tattoo can represent a deep exploration of the self, an acknowledgement of the complex emotions that lie beneath the surface.

The Octopus: A Token of Intelligence and Creativity

The octopus is highly intelligent, known for its problem-solving skills and strategic hunting tactics. As a tattoo, it can symbolize intelligence, creativity, and strategic thinking. It’s an excellent choice for those who value their intellectual and creative abilities.

Popular Styles of Octopus Tattoos

Now that we’ve delved into the symbolism of the octopus, let’s explore the different styles and treatments in which this captivating creature can be rendered.

Blue Octopus Tattoos

The color blue epitomizes the ocean, and a blue octopus tattoo can be a beautiful tribute to the sea’s depth and mystery. Whether it’s a vibrant turquoise or a deep navy, the color blue can add a stunning visual element to your octopus tattoo.

Blue octopus half sleeve tattoo

Purple and blue octopus wrist and hand tattoo

Blue and purple octopus shoulder tattoo

Traditional Octopus Tattoos

In a traditional octopus tattoo, expect bold lines, vibrant colors, and classic design elements. The traditional style, with its roots in nautical tattooing, is a fitting tribute to the octopus’s home in the sea.

Traditional Octopus Tattoo on upper Arm


Traditional octopus kraken tattoo

Traditional octopus with scuba tattoo

Traditional octopus and submarine tattoo

Black and Grey Octopus Tattoos

A black and grey octopus tattoo can be a stunning display of contrast and detail. This style can utilize gradients and shading to add depth and realism to the tattoo, creating a breathtaking monochrome masterpiece.

Black and grey octopus and hibiscus tattoo

Black and grey octopus and human heart tattoo

A female wearing octopus headdress forearm tattoo

Black and grey Arm octopus tattoo

Black and grey octopus and boat tattoo

Japanese Octopus Tattoos

In Japanese tattoo art, or Irezumi, the octopus often appears as a part of a larger, intricate design. These tattoos are known for their bold colors, sweeping lines, and elaborate details, creating a dynamic and captivating visual narrative.

Japanese octopus half sleeve tattoo

Japanese style octopus and peony tattoo on leg

Japanese octopus chest tattoo

Tribal Octopus Tattoo

Tribal tattoos have a rich history, and an octopus can be a fantastic subject for this style. Octopus tattoos in this style often feature bold, black lines and intricate patterns that embody the strength and adaptability of this creature. It’s a powerful design that resonates with our ancestral connection to the sea.

Tribal octopus tattoo

Small octopus tattoo one one side of belly for girl

Realistic Octopus Tattoos

If you’re captivated by the octopus’s natural beauty, a realistic octopus tattoo is a fantastic choice. This style captures the intricate details of the octopus’s form and texture, creating a true-to-life rendering that’s sure to captivate.

Realistic octopus and ocean tattoo

Realistic octopus tattoo

Realistic octopus calf tattoo

Red Octopus Tattoos

For those who prefer a bold, striking design, a red octopus tattoo is a fantastic choice. The color red can symbolize passion, courage, or intensity, making your tattoo an eye-catching declaration of your personal traits.

Watercolor octopus with black outline tattoo

Red octopus lower leg tattoo

octopus and fish tattoo

Red octopus forearm tattoo

Black and White Octopus Tattoos

There’s a timeless elegance to black and white tattoos, and an octopus design is no exception. A black and white octopus tattoo can be a classy, sophisticated choice that focuses on the creature’s form and texture without the distraction of color.

Black and white octopus tattoo on bicep

Neo Traditional Octopus Tattoos

If you love the bold lines and vibrant colors of traditional tattoos but want a little more creativity and complexity, a neo-traditional octopus tattoo is a perfect pick. This style combines the best of both worlds, creating a visually engaging design that’s both modern and nostalgic.

Neo traditional octopus in bowl tattoo

Neo traditional octopus forearm tattoo

The Octopus in Various Tattoo Compositions

The octopus’s versatile nature extends to the multitude of ways it can be incorporated into different tattoo compositions.

Octopus and Anchor Tattoos

An octopus and anchor tattoo can symbolize stability amidst change. The anchor, a symbol of stability and strength, creates a compelling contrast with the adaptable octopus.

Octopus with anchor tattoo on upper arm

Octopus with anchor thigh tattoo

Traditional octopus with anchor arm tattoo

Black and grey Octopus with Anchors tattoo on thigh

Japanese octopus with anchor back tattoo

Octopus with anchor ankle tattoo

Octopus and Skull Tattoos

An octopus and skull tattoo can represent the cycle of life and death, or the transformation and adaptability in the face of mortality. The skull, a symbol of mortality, paired with the ever-changing octopus, creates a powerful symbolic narrative.

Skull chrysanthemum and octopus palm tattoo

Traditional octopus skull calf tattoo

Animal skull and octopus tattoo

Black and grey octopus skull tattoo

Octopus with arrow and skull tattoo

Octopus and Ship Tattoos

The octopus and ship tattoo is a classic nautical design. It can symbolize a struggle against challenges or the unpredictability of life’s journey, with the ship representing the journey and the octopus the unforeseen challenges.

Octopus and boat with wheel tattoo on back

Fine line boat octopus tattoo on back

Thigh octopus with boat tattoo

Blackwork Boat with octopus tattoo

Octopus and ship chest tattoo with words Live the life you love

Octopus and Scuba Diver Tattoos

For scuba diving enthusiasts, an octopus and scuba diver tattoo can be a perfect way to express your passion for underwater exploration. This design captures the thrill of encountering this fascinating creature in its natural environment.

Black and grey octopus ship and scuba diver tattoo on full back

Traditional octopus and scuba diver tattoo

Octopus Shipwreck Tattoos

An octopus shipwreck tattoo tells a fascinating tale of the deep. This design can capture the breathtaking drama of a shipwreck, with the octopus as a captivating inhabitant or eerie invader. It’s a stunning choice for those who love storytelling through their body art.

Realistic octopus shark and shipwreck tattoo

Realistic octopus scuba diver and shipwreck tattoo

Octopus Tentacle Tattoos

If you prefer a subtler, more minimalistic design, an octopus tentacle tattoo is a fantastic option. This design focuses on the octopus’s most distinctive feature, making it a unique and intriguing choice.

Octopus tentacles chest tattoo

Octopus tentacle back tattoo

Octopus tentacle chest tattoo for men

Octopus Tattoo Placement Ideas

When it comes to tattoos, placement is also critical. The right placement can enhance the visual impact of your design, making it a truly stunning piece of body art. If you’re considering an octopus piece, you’re in luck. The octopus’s shape and form lend themselves to a variety of placements, allowing for a spectacular array of design options.

Octopus Sleeve Tattoos

Thinking about a full sleeve? The flowing form of an octopus is perfect for this ambitious canvas. A sleeve allows the octopus to stretch across your arm, with its tentacles winding around your limb, creating a dynamic and visually engaging design.

Octopus full sleeve tattoo 1

Realistic octopus full sleeve tattoo

Tattooed woman with octopus full sleeve tattoo

Green octopus tattoo sleeve

3D sleeve octopus tattoo

 Full sleeve octopus tattoo

Blue and green Sleeve octopus tattoo

Octopus Thigh Tattoos

For those seeking a more private placement, the thigh is an excellent option. An octopus thigh tattoo can be a personal masterpiece, hidden or displayed at your discretion. This placement also offers ample space for a larger, more intricate design.

Octopus thigh tattoo with words Wasser ist nass

Thigh octopus tattoo for girls

Blackwork Thigh octopus tattoo

Thigh octopus tattoo for women

3D thigh octopus tattoo

Realistic Octopus thigh tattoo

Golden octopus tattoo on thigh

Octopus and flower thigh tattoo

Octopus and jellyfish with a female face thigh tattoo

Octopus Chest Tattoos

A chest placement provides a broad canvas that’s perfect for a large octopus design. This placement allows the octopus to sprawl across your chest, creating a dramatic and eye-catching design.

Small octopus chest tattoo

Octopus and shark chest tattoo

Chest octopus tattoo for women

Realistic octopus chest tattoo

Octopus neck Tattoos

For a design that truly stands out, consider a neck placement. An octopus neck tattoo can be a dramatic statement, with the creature’s tentacles gracefully curving around your nape or extending up towards the ear. This placement is particularly suited for those who embrace boldness and aren’t afraid to showcase their individuality. Despite being a more exposed location, it can also be easily concealed with hair or clothing if necessary, offering you the best of both worlds.

Neck octopus tattoo

 Octopus cover up on the back of neck


Octopus Quarter Sleeve Tattoos

If you’re fond of the sleeve concept but want something less extensive, a quarter sleeve tattoo could be an appealing choice. This placement allows the octopus to spread its tentacles from your shoulder down to the mid-upper arm, creating a captivating design that’s both visually striking and easily concealable. This option provides a taste of the sea on your skin, without occupying as much space as a full or half sleeve, offering a balanced design for your unique aquatic masterpiece.

Shaking hands and Octopus tentacle quarter sleeve tattoo

Blackwork quarter sleeve octopus tattoo

Octopus Foot Tattoos

For a smaller, subtler design, the foot is an ideal placement. A foot octopus piece can be a delightful surprise, peeking out from under a shoe or sock. Despite its smaller size, this placement can still accommodate a detailed design.

Octopus skeleton foot tattoo

Octopus foot tattoo black and grey

Octopus Forearm Tattoos

An octopus forearm tattoo can serve as a constant reminder of your love for the sea. This placement is easily visible, allowing you to display your tattoo with pride. The length of the forearm also complements the elongated form of the octopus.

Realistic octopus arm tattoo

Octopus and stars tattoo on inner forearm

Forearm octopus tattoo for men

Blackwork Octopus girl tattoo


Elephant octopus tattoo

Tattooed woman with Octopus Tattoo on upper arm

Black and grey octopus forearm tattoo

Forearm octopus tattoo

Octopus tattoo on outer forearm

Octopus Half Sleeve Tattoos

If you’re drawn to the idea of a sleeve but aren’t ready to commit to a full one, a half sleeve is a great alternative. An octopus half sleeve design can create a balanced design, with the octopus nestled on your upper arm or lower arm.

Realistic octopus and vegetable half sleeve tattoo

Realistic octopus half sleeve tattoo

Orange and blue octopus half sleeve tattoo

 Octopus and cloud Half sleeve tattoo

 Half sleeve octopus tattoo for men

Half sleeve octopus and bicycle tattoo

Octopus Hand Tattoos

For those who aren’t afraid to make a bold statement, a hand placement is an impactful choice. An octopus hand piece is unmissable, and the octopus’s tentacles can create an engaging design that wraps around your fingers.

Blackwork octopus with eye tattoo on hand

Lady face and octopus hand tattoo

Black and grey octopus ship tattoo on hand

Blackwork octopus hand tattoo

Orange Octopus hand Tattoo

Hand octopus tattoo blackwork

Octopus Hip Tattoos

An octopus hip design is a hidden treasure, tucked away in a more private location. This placement allows for an element of surprise, and the curve of the hip complements the fluid form of the octopus.

Octopus tattoo from hip to thigh

Octopus Leg Tattoos

The leg provides a long, vertical canvas that’s ideal for an octopus design. Whether it’s nestled on your calf or extending up your thigh, an octopus leg tattoo can be a captivating design that celebrates the marine creature’s dynamic form.

Realistic octopus leg tattoo sleeve

Realistic scuba diver and octopus leg tattoo

Blue Blue octopus lower leg tattoo

Octopus and skull lower leg tattoo

Octopus illustration tattoo on lower leg

Octopus Arm Tattoos

An arm placement offers versatility for your octopus design. Whether it’s a small design on the upper arm or a larger piece that wraps around your arm, an octopus arm tattoo can be a beautiful addition to your body art collection.

Octopus linework tattoo on upper arm

Arm octopus tattoo

Octopus Back Tattoos

With its broad, flat surface, the back is a fantastic canvas for a large, intricate tattoo. An octopus back design can create a stunning visual narrative, with the octopus’s tentacles sprawling across your back.

Lotus with octopus tattoo on one side of back

 Backwork octopus tattoo on upper back for women


 Baby octopus tattoo on back

Large octopus tattoo on one side of back

Octopus Corset tattoo on lower back

Octopus Shoulder Tattoos

The shoulder is an excellent canvas for an octopus tattoo. Its rounded shape aligns well with the fluid, curving form of an octopus, creating a harmonious composition. An octopus shoulder tattoo can be a versatile design, with the octopus’s tentacles winding down your arm or wrapping around your shoulder blade. This placement is easily concealable but can also be proudly displayed with the right attire, making it a wonderful choice for your distinctive octopus design.

Big octopus tattoo on shoulder blade for men

Classy Octopus Tattoo on shoulder blade

3D octopus shoulder blade tattoo

A woman with diving glasses and octopus tattoo

Black and grey Octopus tattoo from shoulder to chest

Octopus tattoo on shoulder for women


Blue and yellow shoulder octopus tattoo

Octopus Ankle Tattoos

If you’re seeking a smaller, subtler design, consider an ankle placement. An octopus ankle design can be a charming mark, with the octopus’s tentacles wrapping around your ankle.

 Ankle octopus tattoo

Octopus Calf Tattoos

For a strong, impactful design, consider a calf placement. An octopus calf design can be a striking piece, with the length of the calf accommodating the octopus’s elongated form.

Conclusion: The Octopus Tattoo – A Personal Symbol of Depth and Adaptability

In conclusion, the octopus tattoo is not just a visual spectacle—it’s a deep well of symbolic meaning. Whether you choose a traditional, black and grey, abstract, or Japanese style, or incorporate elements like an anchor, skull, ship, or mermaid, your octopus tattoo can be a unique testament to your adaptability, intelligence, creativity, and depth. Collaborate with your tattoo artist to bring your vision to life, and let your octopus tattoo tell your unique story. After all, tattoos are more than just body art—they’re an expression of your personal narrative. With an octopus tattoo, you’re choosing a design as deep and versatile as the sea itself.

Floral octopus tattoo for women

Floral octopus tattoo for women

The octopus’s adaptability and the delicate beauty of flowers combine to create a stunning floral octopus design. This design can symbolize growth, beauty, and adaptability, creating a deeply personal body art piece. It’s a perfect blend of feminine allure and marine mystique.

Octopus galaxy tattoo

Octopus galaxy tattoo

This design combines the octopus’s fluidity with the ethereal beauty of galaxies, symbolizing a sense of mystery, exploration, and vast potential. It’s an intriguing choice for those who feel a strong connection to the cosmos.

Small watercolor octopus tattoo

Small watercolor octopus tattoo

A small watercolor octopus design is a stunning fusion of size and vibrancy. The watercolor style lends a whimsical touch to the design, while the small size makes it a subtle, intriguing piece. It’s a perfect choice for those who prefer a minimalist yet vibrant tattoo.

Octopus rib cage tattoo

Octopus rib cage tattoo

This placement allows for large, intricate designs, and the octopus lends itself well to this, with its sprawling tentacles creating a stunning visual spectacle. It’s an eye-catching choice for those unafraid to make a bold statement.

Colorful octopus tattoo on upper arm

Colorful octopus tattoo on upper arm

A colorful octopus design on the upper arm is a vibrant display of marine life. The upper arm placement is ideal for showcasing detailed and colorful designs. This design, with its splash of color and dynamic imagery, is sure to turn heads.

Octopus and dagger tattoo

Octopus and dagger tattoo

An octopus and dagger design combines the fluidity of the octopus with the sharp, fixed nature of the dagger. This design can symbolize adaptability in the face of danger or challenges, making a powerful personal statement.

Negative space octopus tattoo on watercolor backdrop

Negative space octopus tattoo on watercolor backdrop

A negative space octopus design on a watercolor backdrop is a true artistic masterpiece. This design uses the absence of ink to form the shape of the octopus, creating a unique and visually compelling design. It’s an excellent choice for art enthusiasts and those who love unique tattoo designs.

Stylized octopus shoulder blade tattoo

Stylized octopus shoulder blade tattoo

A stylized octopus shoulder blade piece can be a tasteful and elegant design. The shoulder blade provides a perfect canvas for the octopus’s sprawling form, and a stylized design adds a touch of sophistication. It’s a classy choice for those who prefer elegant, understated body art.

Octopus and negative space heart tattoo

Octopus and negative space heart tattoo

An octopus and negative space heart design is a symbol of deep affection and adaptability. The heart, created using negative space, adds a touch of sentimentality to the design. This tattoo can symbolize a love that’s as deep and vast as the ocean.

Octopus and hourglass tattoo

Octopus and hourglass tattoo

An octopus and hourglass design can symbolize the passage of time and life’s constant changes. The hourglass represents time and mortality, while the octopus represents adaptability. It’s a powerful design for those who embrace life’s fluidity and impermanence.

Related posts:

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *