30 Tentacular Octopus Tattoos For Men

The octopus is a fearsome creature that lives on the ocean bed as well as the deepest recesses of our head. It has a mythical reputation of silent power, and stealth. Octopus tattoos project the octopus reputation, in wildly realistic images that are drawn from shoulder to sholder, or entwined on the arm or the legs.

Such is the beauty of the octopus that it can be drawn as a cute simple cartoon, or a giant sea creature that destroys whole ships. Men have octopus tattoos to show their understated power, or their whimsy at having a virtual pet wrapped around their body.

The octopus is a master of mimicry and camouflage, and its shape lends itself well to the various styles and genres of tattoo art. From cartoonish figures, to frighteningly large tentacles, and even to strong story-telling with a kraken, a well-drawn octopus tattoo deserves respect and awe.

1. Simple Octopus Tattoo

For the laid-back individual, nothing works better than simple octopus tattoos. As opposed to something with various details or designs, some find simpler designs to be more appealing. A simple octopus tattoo does not have that much attention to detail, but the technique focuses more on the basic outlines. Despite being subtle, it carries the same deep symbolism and meaning that comes with your tattoo design. It also takes less time to complete because it is typically tiny and minimalistic in design. 

2. Octopus Shoulder Tattoo

Generally, octopus tattoos are detailed and intricate. The creature has beautiful and vivid patterns that every artist would love to capture and ink on your skin. There are various styles to try for an octopus shoulder tattoo – whether realistic, geometric, simple, or cartoonish. For a design with plenty of details, you will need a more prominent placement like the back or chest and extended towards the shoulder and arms. These areas are not very painful to get inked. Thus you can enjoy the process, which can take several sessions to complete.  

3. Octopus Chest Tattoo

For tattoo pieces that you want to keep close to your heart, the perfect placement is the chest. For example, an octopus chest tattoo is becoming a popular choice for men because of its deep symbolism and aesthetic design. Octopus are sea creatures that represent fear, power, strength, rebirth, or life. On the other hand, chest tattoos can be painful because of the skin’s proximity to the bones. Thus, make sure that you relate with what your ink image symbolizes for you to keep a meaningful tattoo design. 

4. Octopus Arm Tattoo

Arm tattoos are ideal if you want ink designs placed in an accessible and visible location. This spot is versatile because you can also cover it up anytime. Often, men choose to have arm tattoos because it is low on the pain scale and the design can enhance their muscles. An octopus arm tattoo is a badass choice for this spot because it can be designed as if it is wrapping around the arm. Black and grey shades are excellent choices for a fantastic octopus arm tattoo to have. 

5. Octopus Forearm Tattoo

One of the most popular tattoo placements for men is on the forearm. This spot offers ample space for detailed tattoo designs. It is also ideal for an octopus forearm tattoo because it is low on the pain scale, and your ink design will heal quickly. A tattoo on the forearm can also be covered up whenever you need to, but you can easily show it off too. The image of the octopus should wrap around your arm and make a bold and exciting statement. 

6. Octopus Sleeve Tattoo

If you prefer a more detailed and intricate tattoo design, a sleeve tattoo is a beautiful choice for you. This tattoo style covers your upper and lower arm like a sleeve. It is an innovative and bold option. Because of the space it offers, you can have the octopus as the base of your tattoo collection or have a theme for it. In addition, you can put other elements like an anchor, ship, and waves. You can also explore the Japanese or neo-American style of inking. It may take several sessions to complete such a vibrant and detailed ink design, but the outcome is always a fantastic work of art.  

7. Octopus Back Tattoo

The back offers the largest canvas for extensive body art. You can have a large, intricate, and detailed octopus image as the base for your nautical tattoo theme. Your piece can tell a story, along with other elements like mermaids, ships, sailors, waves, and anchors. A full and bold back tattoo will take days to complete. Thus make sure to have a design that is truly meaningful to you. 

8. Octopus Leg Tattoo

Getting an octopus leg tattoo is another great alternative if you want a creative and versatile tattoo design. The leg area is not as painful to get tattooed on except on the area near the knee. For some men, getting a tattoo on some sore spot signifies their strength and a high tolerance for discomfort. An octopus leg tattoo will look great when choosing a blackwork design, but watch out for potential stretching due to muscle gain.

9. Octopus Hand Tattoo

Men with rebellious spirit will find hand tattoos to be an appealing choice for their next inking. This location is easily visible, and it is perfect for tattoo designs that you want to show off. It is also an excellent spot for meaningful tattoos which you want to see every day. An octopus hand tattoo will be a fantastic tattoo design with tentacles running down the fingers to use the long and narrow space. Every time you move your fingers, the octopus will look as though it is also moving. However, hand tattoos can be painful to have, and it fades more quickly than inks in other parts of the body. 

10. Octopus Thigh Tattoo

Another spacious placement option, but a discreet one, is the thigh. This spot is easily covered up, but you can have an incredibly detailed ink design here. It is also one of the least painful placements that you can have for a large and intricate octopus tattoo design. It may take several sessions to complete a themed scenario, but know that it will be worth the time, effort, and money to achieve the design and symbolism you aim for.

11. Elephant Octopus Tattoo

Elephant and octopus might sound like an unusual design combination. While the elephant is the largest land animal, the octopus is a sea-dwelling creature. When combined in a tattoo design, the beast becomes a symbol of rebirth and strength. You will often see them created with the elephant’s head and octopus’ tentacles instead of legs. Both animals are associated with intelligence. Thus this design may also be considered as a symbol of power.

12. Octopus and Anchor Tattoo

The octopus and anchor tattoo is inspired by folktales involving mythical creatures that villagers fear. Octopuses are once believed to be eight-legged monsters that are best avoided when sailing. Thus, it is a common theme for sailors to have these elements combined. This unique sea creature is associated with intelligence, deception, flexibility, unpredictability, and mystery. Anchors, on the other hand, represent resilience, stability, and strength. It may be two contrasting figures, but it is a profoundly symbolic piece. It is an ideal design for people who face uncertainties but find calm in their life.  

13. Octopus and Skull Tattoo

The combination of the octopus and skull tattoo evokes thoughts of mystery, danger, and death. It is a design that is well-suited for those who want an intimidating but thought-provoking design. The combination provides a powerful symbolism that represents intelligence and the life cycle. The octopus is often considered a monster, but it is also associated with renewal and rebirth. You can opt for this tattoo design to show that you have an unbreakable spirit and fearless. 

14. Octopus and Ship Tattoo

Following the Scandanavian stories of the eight-legged sea monster called the Kraken, sailors would recreate an encounter with this beast through tattoos. The Kraken represents power and regeneration, but it is also feared because of its ability to sink ships. Putting them together in a tattoo design creates an exciting scene that has a grand story to tell. You can opt for the traditional American tattoo style and relate it to the storms you have in your life.  

15. Jellyfish and Octopus Tattoos

These two are incredibly clever creatures of the ocean. Men find them to be appealing subjects because of their beauty and the things they represent. For instance, they are known for their deceptive abilities, intelligence, survival instincts, and excellent hunting skills. A design featuring the octopus and jellyfish tattoo will symbolize your versatility and flexibility to adapt to any situation. 

16. Mermaid and Octopus Tattoo

Octopus may be one of the most mysterious creatures of the deep blue sea, but you can have fun with your design by adding other sea elements. You can have seashells, starfish and a mermaid too. All these can showcase your love for the ocean and all the mysteries that lie therein. 

17. Octopus Tentacles Tattoo

If the image of the whole octopus does not appeal to you, but you want the symbolism that comes with its limbs, you might want to consider getting inked with its tentacles instead. This tattoo design gives that otherworldly quality, and it will represent your ability to multitask as if you have extra limbs. 

18. Blue Ringed Octopus Tattoo

Among the deadly and dangerous octopus species, you don’t want to mess with the blue-ringed type. On the other hand, this genus makes for a fantastic tattoo design because they are lovely. They are found in coral reefs and tide pools in the Indian and Pacific oceans. They are best avoided, though, because they are vicious and deadly. Men find these creatures to be great subjects for a tattoo because of their colors and symbolism. 

19. Black Work Octopus Tattoo

For a unique and stunning tattoo design, choose black-work tattoos for a depth of sharing and imagery. With the help of your artist, your octopus tattoo will look amazing despite having just one ink color. The octopus also allows for great adaptability; thus, this technique will work beautifully with it. 

20. Kraken Octopus Tattoo

The Kraken Octopus is a legendary monster from Scandinavian folklore. It is believed that this monster attacked ships and terrified sailors. It is aggressive and gigantic. But despite its ferocious symbolism, the Kraken octopus tattoo may also represent intelligence, power, and strength. It is also said to regenerate lost limbs. Thus it is associated with the ability to move forward after struggles in life. A Kraken octopus tattoo is also a fantastic way to honor one’s Scandanavian roots or heritage. 

21. Neo-Traditional Octopus Tattoo

Many men today are also open to exploring modern tattoo design along with traditional inking style. The fusion of traditional and contemporary is what neo-traditional tattoos bring around. Artists can create an improved palette of standard colors along with bold outlines to create stylized conventional tattoos. This style is easily recognizable as it brings together various elements. In this case, you will have a historical representation of an ancient sea creature combined with modern features. 

22. Colorful Octopus Tattoo

For designs that truly stand out, be sure to add a splash of colors. Although octopus tattoos are best done in black and white, you can always choose realistic colors such as blue, red, and yellows. These impressive creatures are highly adaptable and intelligent. Thus they are associated with unpredictability and mystery. If you find these qualities appealing, then it is the right choice for your next ink. 

23. Japanese Octopus Tattoo

Otherwise known as Irezumi, a Japanese tattoo is a distinct tattoo style that uses a mix of black, great, and vibrant hues. Some of the familiar images used in this design include dragons, koi fish, snakes, and flowers. If you choose an octopus tattoo, it is associated with the Japanese tale of the Akkorokamui, a sea monster that is feared but respected. A Japanese octopus tattoo is an attractive tattoo design that is eye-catching and meaningful at the same time.

24. Watercolor Octopus Tattoo

In recent years, watercolor tattoo styles have been gaining popularity because of their artistic and colorful qualities. The technique features a blend of colors that look like you have a painting on your skin. Watercolor tattoos do not have bold outlines and look more fluid than the usual design. It makes for an incredible piece, but they fade faster than typical designs. The beauty of this technique is that it works well with underwater scenes, like something that you can do with your octopus tattoo. 

25. Small Octopus Tattoo

Before deciding on a tattoo design, there are several factors that you need to consider, like the size and placement and the reason for the popularity of small tattoos. Small octopus tattoos give you freedom on where you want to have it. You can get a finger piece behind the ear tattoo or something small on your arm that you can easily cover up. Tiny tattoos are a great option, both for the first time or tenth inking. It is less painful and takes a little time to complete.

26. Realistic Octopus Tattoo

The octopus is a fantastic creature of deep blue. If you look beyond the danger it can bring, they have a certain beauty and intelligence. A realistic octopus tattoo will feature a spot of ink that is as close to the real one as possible. This technique is quite popular, but it takes skill and talent to put life into the creature on your skin. Most realistic images are created in black and white with gray shading, but you can always explore vivid colors with your artist. On the other hand, realistic tattoos will take several sessions to complete and may also cause a lot of discomfort in the process. 

27. Cartoon Octopus Tattoo

Men will always be kids, even when they are all grown up. It often shows the way they pay tribute to their favorite cartoon characters. Some of them even have tattoos inspired by their favorite shows. For instance, a cartoon octopus tattoo can be designed to look like Squidward from Spongebob Square Pants or decorated to have unrealistic proportions. Cartoon octopus tattoos are ideal for people who want to celebrate more specific periods of life with something fun and unique. 

28. Geometric Octopus Tattoo

For an incredibly unique and modern tattoo design, you can explore geometric tattoos to highlight even the simplest images. With a geometric octopus tattoo, you can approach the creature with unparalleled symmetry and mystery. Octopus is associated with beauty and intelligence, and it is best shown through the series of patterns created with precision. What you get is an image that looks harmonious with the shapes, lines, and angles that comes with it. It is a perfect choice for people who are looking for abstract and different tattoo designs. 

29. Red Octopus Tattoo

When it comes to octopus tattoos, greys and black are the most common shades used. But you should not be limited to these choices because there is a range of options available for you. Octopuses are associated with intelligence, but they also symbolize danger, illusion, and mystery. You can opt for a striking design using bright and bold colors like red. It will be an eye-catching design made to warn others that the wearer is not someone you can mess with. 

30. Polynesian Octopus Tattoo

Tribal tattoos are profoundly symbolic and carry deep meaning for a specific culture. For instance, Polynesian tattoos indicate that the wearer is part of a cultural hierarchy and genealogy. These tattoos not only look beautiful, but they are also flexible and versatile to be made into different images. For instance, a Polynesian octopus tattoo is a striking design that is incredibly detailed. It is linked with strength, personal growth, and adaptability. Choose a location that will allow this design to be intricate and flowing, like the thigh or upper arm. 


What is appealing about octopus tattoos?

Like the octopus, their tattoos suits different disparate styles. It can be drawn tribal style, neo-traditional or even in a whimsical cartoon fashion. The resulting images can be challenging, bright and vivid renditions culled from a person’s wildest nightmares, or it can be a flat, small and simple bulb with short tentacles. In whatever way it is drawn, an octopus tattoo inspires and commands respect.

Where is the best placement for an octopus tattoo?

The best placement for an octopus tattoo depends on the size and style. Traditional style octopus drawings can sit well on the arms and chest, while cute octopus tattoos can be placed on the wrist. Larger octopus tattoos can use the wide expanse of the back, or be drawn with tentacles around the thighs.

What does an octopus tattoo symbolize?

The octopus, whether in legend or in real-life induces primal fear. The octopus tattoo encapsulates this fear with every tiny detail of the inking. At the same time, the tentacles are a symbol of multi-tasking, hence also symbolizing working hard.

What does a kraken tattoo mean?

The kraken is a mythical octopus-like creature that can destroy ships. Like the octopus, it is also considered to be an intelligent creature. Kraken tattoos symbolize these beliefs in an intelligent, fearsome and terrible giant sea monster.