Men have been in awe of snakes since time immemorial. There is both a fear and a fascination with these cold blooded creatures. Men have put snakes on a pedestal and worshipped them, or killed them out of ignorance. Ancient civilizations revered the snake or placed them as images of an anti-god. In Christian imagery, the snake was used to symbolize the devil. Through all that, the snake is a very common image in tattoos.
The mystic and projection of power translates well to a tattoo. The typical reaction to a snake tattoo is fear, and horror, followed by awe and wonder. People who see a snake tattoo can’t help but look and conjecture on what kind of person would wear a snake tattoo.
The following 30 images provide a small representation of the most popular and spectacular snake tattoos.
1. Small Snake Tattoo
If you’d like discreet but intimidating ink, a small snake tattoo is an excellent option for you. A tiny tattoo gives you more liberty in choosing the ideal placement for it. You can have this ink on your hand, wrist, finger, and even behind the ear. A small ink is best rendered in solid black ink to highlight its simplistic design. It will make the design stand out better, and it will be easier for the artist to touch it up.
2. Simple Snake Tattoo
Snake tattoos are versatile through and through. They look great when inked in different tattoo styles like the Irezumi Japanese art, but simple snake tattoos are also striking. If you are the laid-back kind of guy and prefer a more straightforward tattoo design, go for this simple snake tattoo. Despite its lack of details, the meaning will always be the same.
3. Snake and Skull Tattoo
Men attracted to Gothic tattoo design will be impressed with the snake and skull tattoo combination. This inking stands out wherever it is placed. The snake and skull tattoo design is often linked with poison or death, but it also represents rebirth and the endless cycle of life and death. There are also various ways to create this tattoo design; one is the snake in the skull’s eye to symbolize knowledge.
4. Snake Skeleton Tattoo
For an unusual but extraordinary twist on your snake tattoo, consider getting it done with a snake skeleton instead. This design is gaining a lot of popularity because it is a complex design that is the pride of a great tattoo artist. They must be skilled in anatomical structure to create an excellent replica of the snake’s skeleton. It is also challenging to put into your skin, wrapped around the arm, the bicep, or shoulder. This tattoo design will surely be something to talk about.
5. Snake Head Tattoo
A snakehead tattoo is probably one of the most intimidating and most relaxed tattoo options that you can have for your next inking. It is a perfect choice for men who want a masculine tattoo design because the snake is a dangerous predator. The artist can put focus on the fangs and the hypnotic eyes of the snake to make it more menacing. In most cases, snakehead tattoos are done realistically with a lot of energy and fluid movement. It looks like it will jump off any second from your skin.
6. Traditional Tribal Snake Tattoo
Traditional tribal tattoos are one of the most effective ways to give tribute to culture. For the African and Polynesian cultures, tattoos may be earned as they achieve their personal goals or as awarded by the community. Tattoos for these cultures are inspired by the natural world, including animals and plants. Tribal tattoos always look intriguing because of the solid lines and black ink that they use. This tattoo style is perfect if you want a badass snake tattoo because it suits the snake’s long, curved body. A tribal snake tattoo is adaptable to any placement you have in mind. Show it off by getting this tat on your forearm or shoulder.
7. Python Snake Tattoo
Another sacred snake is the python. For a spiritual tattoo design, you can choose this type of snake to have for your next inking. In Africa, pythons are revered. Killing it is forbidden. Pythons are also one of the largest snake species. If you want a detailed python design, it is best to have it on your back or chest.
8. Black Mamba Snake Tattoo
The black mamba snake is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. This dangerous reptile is native to Africa, and it is known for its agility and speed. When threatened, this snake can become very aggressive, despite its seemingly harmless appearance. The Black mamba snake tattoo is an excellent tattoo design for you if you relate well with its qualities. Likewise, it is also a popular choice for Kobe Bryant fans who want to pay tribute to the basketball legend.
9. Rattlesnake Tattoo
If you want a snake tattoo with a unique meaning connected to your masculinity, choose a rattlesnake tattoo. The rattler symbolizes potency and fertility. This snake strikes as fast as lightning, and it is associated with rain in fertilizing the lands. The rattlesnake is also a symbol of transformation and death.
10. Cobra Tattoo
Cobras are one of the most poisonous but the most sacred snakes in the world. Indigenous people in India consider cobras to be an emblem because of their spiritual significance. It is a symbol of power, and it is believed that it sheltered Buddha from the sun when he slept. Despite being venomous, cobras are also viewed as protectors in various cultures. If you have the same views, getting a cobra snake tattoo will be an excellent idea for you.
11. Viper Snake Tattoo
If you want an intriguing snake tattoo, choose to have a Viper ink design. Vipers symbolize betrayal, and they are very deadly snakes. They attack instinctively, and there is no reasoning with these creatures. Aesthetically, a viper tattoo design is cool and exciting inking to have on your arm, bicep, or your chest.
12. Realistic Snake Tattoo
For a tattoo design that stands out, consider a realistic snake tattoo design. A skilled artist will create a 3D snake design that looks as if it is alive. The tattoo artist uses unique shading techniques and the tiniest details in the design. Realistic snake tattoos are best rendered in large placement areas like the back, chest, and thigh.
13. Snake Eye Tattoo
Another intimidating tattoo design that you can have is the snake eye tattoo. It is highly similar to the dragon eye tattoo because of its fearsome and reptilian appearance. It is best inked in a hyper-realistic style with saturated yellow and green ink. Ideally, your artist should be skilled in creating these kinds of tattoos so that they can create an illusion of depth and life. The eyes should have snake scales around to add more energy and movement with this ink.
14. Snake and Dagger Tattoo
The snake and dagger tattoo says it all for a tattoo that represents triumph, bravery, and overcoming obstacles. It is especially true when designed with the dagger stabbing the snake! On the other hand, a snake wrapping around a blade symbolizes the Roman God Mercury.
15. Two-Headed Snake Tattoo
If you think that getting a snake tattoo is badass, then it’s double the cool with a two-headed snake tattoo! This fresh and exciting idea represents a deep internal battle between your two opposing personalities. It needs to be united – the aggressive and the quiet side to achieve balance. Alternatively, it may also mean having two “paths” in life and your struggle to make it through difficult choices.
16. Snake Eating Its Tail Tattoo
This tattoo design is not very rare, and it is an ancient symbol in Egyptian iconography. The ouroboros or the snake eating itself is a mystical image that dates back to thousands of years, and it represents unity and infinity. It showcases the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. An ouroboros tattoo is a spiritual or historical image that you can wear with pride if you resonate with its meaning. You can have it in its original circular image on your back or create the symbol of infinity.
17. Rose and Snake Tattoo
For a symbolic and badass snake tattoo, try mixing it up with a rose or a bunch of roses. Snake tattoos have a range of meanings, some positive and others negative. A rose, on the other hand, is a universally popular tattoo element. It can be added to soften what could be a bad image of the snake. Roses are associated with love and passion, and with the snake tattoo, the meaning shifts towards romantic temptation and overwhelming force. Make it look Gothic or create a traditional tattoo style for more impact on the design.
18. Gucci Snake Tattoo
The infamous fashion brand Gucci became popular with its scarlet kingsnake animal logo. It is iconic with white, black, and red snakes that look cool and vibrant with its semi-coiled pose. Interestingly, the scarlet kingsnake is a type of snake that is non-confrontation and is a loner. They are not venomous nor toxic to humans. Thus, this snake is an ideal choice for a person who has a friendly and introverted personality instead of snake tattoos that are displayed as aggressive and intimidating.
19. Snake Forearm Tattoo
Another popular placement option for snake tattoos is on the forearm. This spot provides a long and narrow space that is well-suited to the snake tattoo design. If you want to see your fantastic snake ink easily or have the option to cover it up if needed, have it on your forearm instead. Ideally, a semi-coiled snake tattoo customized with other fantastic elements is an excellent ink design to have on this prominent spot.
20. Snake Shoulder Tattoo
Many men find shoulder tattoos to be an appealing choice when it comes to getting a snake tattoo. The placement allows for larger, more intricate tattoo designs extending towards the bicep or down towards the chest area. A snake shoulder tattoo will draw attention to your shoulder muscles and give off that cool and edgy look. For a more intimidating effect, opt for a striking snake that looks like it is about to attack.
21. Snake Finger Tattoo
Over the past few years, finger tattoos have become widely popular for both men and women. A tiny tattoo on one of the fingers can be discreet and relaxed – especially if it is an image of a snake. A solid black ink snake is a small but meaningful ink design on top or side of your finger. You can have it coiled or tattooed wrapped around. It can also be a unique matching couple tattoo because the snake design suits both men and women.
22. Sleeve Snake Tattoo
If you are interested in building up a sleeve tattoo, snakes are excellent anchors for this project. You can have a giant snake tattoo or have a collection of tattoos that spans from your shoulder to your wrist. A snake tattoo can be the central design of your sleeve ink for that edgy and structured look. Other elements you can add to customize your sleeves are waves and other Japanese elements like sakura blooms or temples.
23. Thigh Snake Tattoo
If you want a much larger snake tattoo that’s not overly exposed, choose to have a thigh snake tattoo instead. A thigh inking is one of the most minor painful placements, so you can have a detailed and intricate tattoo on this spot. If you aim for a beautiful snake tattoo, pick out a design with curved lines and ask your artist to work it around the muscle without warping the image. You can have a realistic 3D snake or something intimidating like a coiled cobra image.
24. Back Snake Tattoo
Would you like to have an ultimate snake tattoo? Consider getting a full-back snake tattoo for this larger-than-life project. The back offers a massive space for an excellent snake tattoo design like a Japanese snake combined with other traditional symbols like waves, peonies, koi, and sakura blooms. You can even pair your snake tattoo with a dragon or tiger design to create a unique piece of body art.
25. Snake Wrapped Around the Arm Tattoo
When it comes to snake tattoos, men can style them like it is wrapping around their body part. One of the most popular placements for the wrapped around snake tattoo is on the arm. The body of the snake is slim and curved. Thus, they make excellent wrapping tattoos on a man’s muscular body part like the biceps. It can be done in a semi-sleeve or full-sleeve effect if you like it running from your wrist towards your shoulder.
26. Leg Snake Tattoo
In recent years, men and women are seen exploring the beauty of having leg tattoos. Snake tattoos are a great option if you are thinking of getting a leg inking because they will quickly adapt to the fit of your legs without warping over the curves. Seek out the services of a skilled artist so that you can create a circular design on your knee for the evil snake eye. You may also have the snake wrapped around your leg for a unique design.
27. Wrist Snake tattoo
The space in your wrist may be small, but it also works well for snake tattoos. You can have a simple coiled or small snake created like a cuff on your wrist for a subtle design. Although solid black ink works great for small and straightforward tattoos for the wrist, you may also explore the watercolor style for a banded tattoo that you can extend towards your arm.
28. Snake Ankle Tattoo
If you are looking for more discreet tattoo ideas, consider getting a snake ankle tattoo instead. An ankle tattoo is easy to hide under your trousers or when you wear your shoe. This placement option also allows you various design choices for your snake inking. You can have it wrapped, coiled, or banded like an anklet on your feet. Additionally, you can also consider extending the design towards your foot or upwards to your calves for a more detailed outlook.
29. Snake Chest Tattoo
The chest area is another excellent placement option for more extensive and more detailed snake inking. You can have a full-color and dynamic image of a snake combined with other elements like an eagle or dragon for an excellent design. Chest tattoos are best done in the Old School art style, but some men also explore modern styles like the pec tattoo. Whichever methods you use, chest tattoos will always be a statement piece that you can easily show off.
30. Hand Snake Tattoo
Snake tattoos also look great in wider or flatter spots like the hand. Although the design is well suited for long and narrow areas of the body, you can have it inked intricately on your hand so that you can see it often and be reminded of its meaning in your life. However, tattoos on the hand age more quickly than those inked on other areas of the body. It is because the hands are more exposed to washing and use. Thus, it is best to have something in simple black ink tattoo, so it is easier to touch up in the future.
Although some religions and cultures think that snakes are evil, snakes have a long history of conveying a message of power, fertility, and health. It can also symbolize rebirth, life, and change.
The snake and skull image is a combination of two opposites: life and death. The skull represents death, decay and an end of things. The snake represents rebirth, transformation and is also a reference to the cycle of life.