KRAKEN TATTOO: Meanings, Tattoo Ideas & Tattoo Designs


You might have heard the phrase “Release the Kraken” a few times in your life, either as a movie reference or maybe as a meme, originated from the movie “Clash of Titans” in which actor Liam Neeson starred in the movie as Zeus. You might be surprised to find out that the Kraken is actually of Scandinavian Origins, and has nothing to do with Greek Mythology.

Kraken was said to have been a legendary sea creature, monstrous in size and with the appearance of a grotesque octopus. It was considered the scourge of seas, and all sailors were afraid of meeting such creatures head-on because it was said that anyone that the Kraken laid its eyes upon, ended up at the bottom of the sea.

Sailors kept wards and trinkets to protect them on their journey at sea, and this practice got carried on to modern times as well, where some people still wear amulets, rings, or lately even wear Kraken tattoo on their body, maybe as a reminder that such creature terrified the seas, or maybe just because the Kraken tattoo looks epic in ink. Well, whatever the reason, we are here to find out how such a beast ended up being part of tattoo culture.

Kraken Tattoo Meaning

Various cultures have similar folklore myths when it comes to creatures similar to the Kraken. Ancient Greece had writings about the “Teuthis“(Squid) and in Homer’s “Odyssey we find mentioned Scylla, a monstrous sea creature with the appearance of a female with monstrous appearance. The Japanese have the Akkorokamui, the Caribbean folklore has Lusca, a sharklike creature with tentacles, while the New Zeeland folks have the Te Wheke-a-Muturangi“.

A curious fact is that the Kraken is not found in Norse Mythology, but in Scandinavian folklore, most likely a tale created by seafaring men, Vikings, or traders, and further passed as a story from one place to another either orally or in writing.

The Kraken was described as being monstrous in size, capable of destroying powerful ships with just a single swing of its tentacle. It was said that the monster would roam the seas between Iceland and Norway and between Iceland and Greenland.

The Scandinavian seafarers were a superstitious kind, always wishing they would not face the Kraken head-on, and with each story told, the Kraken’s name was spread further and further, gaining more and more infamy.

Another monstrous creature albeit fictional that was inspired by the Kraken is Cthulhu from H. P. Lovecraft‘s works. The depiction of Cthulhu from Lovecraft’s work is that of a gigantic entity worshipped by cultists, in the shape of a green octopus, dragon, and a caricature of the human form.

Now for a Kraken Tattoo, what does that signify for a person that might decide to ink such a creature on their skin? What would it mean to have such a mythical creature on your body? Well, for one, the stories behind the myth would fascinate any listener, just like they did the sea-folks of old.

It was considered since ancient times that by etching a visage of a beast onto your body, you would get the powers of the said creature, maybe the same can be said for a creature of old, such as the Kraken.

May the Kraken give you strength and vitality so you can face your trials head-on!

Kraken Tattoo Design

The fact that the Kraken is said to have either the appearance of a Squid or of an Octopus can give you lots of room to maneuver your design. The traits such as monstrous appearance and countless tentacles can also give you an advantage when it comes to designing a tattoo worthy of the myth.

An important element is the sea and the waves that surround such creatures. You can always incorporate sea elements alongside the Kraken, and this would only result in amplifying the design of the creature. Another element could be a ship, either one torn to pieces, or one about to be, with the tentacles surrounding it. Worthy of the myth, it shows the true colors of the violent sea creature.

Since death and destruction are frequent motifs that accompany the Kraken, you could incorporate a skeleton near the tattoo, maybe one which has tentacles coming out of its eyes or mouth, giving it an even further depth to the monstrous name.

Others decided to go to the opposite pole, and create cute designs of the Kraken, thus taking all the horror and bad name out of the Kraken, leaving it cute in appearance so that not even small children would be afraid of such a creature. Well, in a sense taking the fear out of a creature or myth removes all the powers that it holds over the heart and minds of the people.

We always recommend as a first step to do your due diligence and get to studying the lore and stories if you wish to create a tattoo based on a myth or a pantheon. There are plenty of studies done out there from which you can get inspired.

And as a second step consult yourself with a tattoo artist, and get their opinion regarding your tattoo. Their opinion and experience could help you immensely and scale the balance in the favour of a great tattoo, rather than a shabby one that has either no meaning or is a blatant copy of another one already done. We are advocates of the doctrine that each tattoo should be unique in its own way.

After you’ve passed these steps, you have to decide which style would fit your tattoo best. There are countless styles out there from which you can get inspired, but we only list a few and leave the rest up to you to discover.

A Realistic Kraken Tattoo can give depth to the tattoo due to the details and lifelike inking style. If you want a more minimalistic style, you can go Black and White, or maybe you prefer a more Traditional style of tattoo. What about Abstract style, or even Watercolor style?

Or maybe you’re a fan of 3D tattoos, or you want the no-hassle Sketch style? Whatever style you will end up choosing, we strongly encourage you to try and create a unique piece of art, one with which you can be proud to show to your friends and family.

Kraken Tattoo Ideas

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

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