HYDRA TATTOO: Meanings, Tattoo Ideas & Tattoo Designs


One of the most terrifying creatures of the Ancient Greek World is the Lernaean Hydra, commonly known as Hydra, a monstrous sea serpent with many heads. Heracles had to battle the Hydra as part of his Twelve Labors, which he barely defeated due to the increase in the number of heads right after Heracles kept decapitating each head, in the place of a cut head, two more would keep sprouting.

Such a monstrous creature became throughout the ages a symbol of fear and horror in the hearts and minds of people, and like all creatures of legends, Hydra became a myth in the Ancient Greek World.

But that does not stop people trying through the ages to bring depictions of Hydra to either paintings, statues or songs, or plays. Some have taken it a step further and had done their body a Hydra Tattoo, and we’re here to find out what might inspire such a memento, and what it might mean for a person to have such a creature inked on their body.

Hydra Tattoo Meaning

We know that the Hydra was an offspring of Typhon and Echidna from the writings of Hesiod, and that Hydra had its lair in the lake of Lerna, hence the name of Lernaean Hydra. Its breath was said to have been poisonous and his blood virulent, deadly enough to instantly kill anyone who got close to its scent.

Due to various myths at play, we do not know exactly how many heads the Hydra had. Some say it had a maximum of nine heads, others mention it having fifty, while some put it in the ballpark of around one hundred heads.

Another important characteristic of the Hydra is that he had the ability to regenerate the heads, from the place of one cut-off head, another two would spring up, thus various sources considered the Hydra to have been immortal.

That was until Heracles went to battle the ferocious monster. As part of his Twelve Labours, Heracles had to fight the Hydra, and it turned out the creature was a tricky one to defeat. As soon as Heracles would cut off one head, another two would regenerate.

After an intense battle, he found out that the best method of dealing with the regenerative heads was to use fire on his sword and cauterize off the wound from which the heads would regenerate. That seemed to work, and as the battle went on, fewer and fewer heads regenerated, thus bringing the battle to an end.

Hydra was considered the scourge of the Ancient Greek World. As such, even in our modern times, the Hydra became a symbol of fear, overwhelming power, and immortality.

Just as in ancient times when people invoked the names of the gods to give them strength in their endeavors, so too do people in modern times ink tattoos on their bodies of different creatures, in the hope of gaining such a creature’s traits. Others might do it for the sake of the esthetics, or the fear and awe such a creature would evoke, and others do it to embody the myth of their body.

Whatever the reason for picking a Hydra Tattoo, one thing we do recommend is that you always try to be inspired by the lore and that you would consult with the tattoo artist of your choice, so that together with a professional, you can end up creating a unique piece of art, with which you can be proud to wear and showcase to the people around you.

Hydra Tattoo Design

The main characteristic of the Hydra is the many heads it possesses. You can choose between how many heads you would like to have tattooed, whether you prefer a few heads, or prefer to go haywire and have more than fifty heads it’s up to you. Know that the myths do not hold an exact number as to the heads of the Hydra, leaving it open to interpretation.

The body of the Hydra is said to have been of a serpentine sea creature, although if you prefer to make it of a normal but more monstrous snake’s body it would not be a bad choice. Some prefer to have a more draconic form to the Hydra’s body, while others want a more sinuous shape.

What about the stance? Do you envision the body being sleeping or on stand-by, or do you imagine it to be in a fight against a hero or butchering soldiers in a field of battle? The name Hydra should give credit to the legends, and have a tattoo that would give justice to the legends! Although if you want to give your own spin to the tale and have it inked as a cute creature with fuzzy heads, it would not be a bad thing. To each with its own vision.

Now would come the most important part, the style of the drawing. Would you go for a Dotwork style? Or a more traditional style? What about a sketch style, or a more realistic side of the myth? How about giving it some colors to bring even more terror and depth to the Hydra?

Whatever option you opt for, know that we always encourage our readers to create a unique piece for their body, one that they can watch and admire with pride even 50 years in the future!

Hydra Tattoo Design

If you enjoyed these HYDRA Tattoos then Click on the links below for more amazing galleries of different gods and their mythology.

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Greek Pantheon | Chinese Pantheon | Norse Pantheon | Egyptian Pantheon | Mythological Creatures

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