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37 Best Shark Tattoos

by Tattoos
37 Shark Tattoos

Sharks are the kings of the seas, being among the most feared creatures on the food chain. They symbolize danger, intimidation and protection of territory. There are more than 500 different shark species known to science. In today’s guide, you’ll check out the meaning and the best male and female shark tattoos.

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Sharks are animals with at least 400 million years of evolution. Among the best known species, we can mention the white shark, the tiger shark, the blue shark, the mako shark and the hammer shark.

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Meaning of Shark Tattoos

Sharks are fearless animals. One of the first meanings of the shark tattoo that we can list is courage. They swim as much through the dangerous depths of the ocean as along the coast.

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Furthermore, their bodies are able to withstand various temperatures, being seen as great symbols of adaptability. Because of this, they also represent the ability to overcome challenges and overcome obstacles.

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A shark fin tattoo can symbolize the passage from one stage of life to another, symbolizing a transformation.

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Due to the conditions this animal lives in, many people also attribute the meaning of “survival“, usually tattooing the animal to symbolize some difficult phase of life that has been overcome.

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For the Celts, the meanings of these animals are even more interesting. Because the dorsal fin of sharks is very similar to a scythe used to harvest wheat, the ancient Celts used it to symbolize the end of an agricultural season, bringing the idea of ​​pooling resources when there is opportunity. That is, the shark is an animal that symbolizes the cyclical nature of life according to the Celts.

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For sailors and pirates, shark tattoos mean protection. Sharks are also very intelligent animals that use all their senses to hunt and preserve their lives. Because of this, they can also represent intelligence.


Sharks also have the characteristic of always swimming, bringing the idea of ​​resilience: always moving forward, never stopping. Finally, these tattoos can also represent warning and danger.

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In short, these are the main meanings of shark tattoos:

  • Courage.
  • Adaptability.
  • Overcoming challenges.
  • Transformation.
  • Survival.
  • Opportunity.
  • Protection.
  • Intelligence.
  • Warning and Danger.

Shark Tattoo Design Ideas

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Check out some design ideas for your shark tattoo:

  • Maori style: sharks are animals very present in the universe of Maori tattoos.And the tribal style of Maori tattoos matches this animal’s silhouette a lot.
  • Hyper-realism: one style that matches this marine animal very well is hyper-realism, which it uses of great detail and three-dimensionality. While this is a charming style, you need to choose a good tattoo professional.
  • Fin: the scenario of a fin cutting through the water can result in a priceless tattoo. This type of tattoo usually represents the transition of phases in life. One of the places this design looks coolest is on the ankle.
  • Hammer shark: This species of shark is revered as a guardian of the seas in Hawaii, being called kihikihiou. These folks believed that enlisting a hammer shark in the water symbolized that the gods would take care of you.
  • With pirates: Another element that can be added to enrich your makeup is pirates. See more about the meaning of pirate tattoos.
  • Cartoon style: sharks are animals that make constant appearances in many cartoons. A more cartoon-style shark can look really cool and fit anywhere on the body as it allows for smaller sizes.
  • White shark: This species is one of the largest, considered also one of the predators most feared of the seas. They are very smart, aggressive and immensely big. white shark tattoos signify leadership.
  • Viking shark: Vikings are famous for being great navigators. There is even a historical hypothesis that they would have discovered America long before the Spanish and Portuguese. A shark with a Viking horn can represent dominance and power.
  • Skeletal shark: this style depicts only the animal’s scale. It can bring violence and blood, but it can also come with a more minimalist feel.
  • Watercolor: If you found the tattoos in black or gray ink too aggressive, you can opt for something more colorful and fun, appealing to the style of watercolor tattoos. This style also has two advantages: it hurts less and it’s faster.
  • Tiger shark: here’s one of the fastest species in the oceans. Its main weapon is its teeth and its jaw is one of the strongest in the world. It feeds on everything from small fish and shrimp to squid and crustaceans.
  • Whale shark: as its name suggests, this is the largest documented shark in the world. It can reach up to 12 meters in length. His mouth is large and full of small sharp teeth.
  • Dotwork: Dotwork style tattoos surprise with the quality of detail, texture and depth that the artist can reach. A tip for this style is to make the shark’s eyes the color of the skin.
  • Shark tooth: this is a powerful symbol of the Polynesian peoples. In Maori culture, they represent victory. It’s common for tribes that win battles to get a shark’s tooth tattoo as a victory trophy. Polynesians also tattoo shark’s teeth as an amulet to protect against the dangers of the seas.
  • Minimalist: Minimalist tattoos tend to take on a simpler style, with few colors and lines, just bringing the silhouette of the animal. This style allows you to easily fit the tattoo anywhere on your body. Besides, it takes just a few sessions to complete a minimalist tattoo.

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