Oceanic Odes: 60 Kraken Tattoos and the Stories They Tell

Kraken Tattoo
What’s behind the enigmatic allure of the Kraken? Imprint the deep sea's majesty on your skin with Kraken tattoos.

Ahoy, ink aficionados! If you’ve come here, you might be interested in tattoos with a mighty sea monster like the Kraken, right? Well then, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, you will find a treasure chest with a curated selection of more than 60 Kraken tattoos, all selected in different styles and themes. Realistic masterpieces, engraved samples that seem to be straight out of an ancient treasure map, shipwrecks, skulls, and even more — we got you all set!

Before you sail further, take a quick look at the best tattoo artists who mastered animal-themed tattoos:

You can also check out our updated tattoo gallery, which now has a search feature. Find the best Kraken tattoo ideas by typing “Kraken” in the search bar and discover dozens of stunning artworks!

A Squid or an Octopus? The Deep Symbolism of the Kraken

A Squid or an Octopus? The Deep Symbolism of the Kraken

“Is the Kraken squid or octo?

In the deep, it’s hard to see.

Is the Kraken squid or octo?

Well, hey, go ask the sea!”

Ever found yourself pondering the profound question: is the Kraken more squid-like or an octopus-like? In case you’ve been interested in Kraken tattoos before and have looked at many examples for inspiration, you might have noticed that this creature can be depicted as two completely different creatures.

A depiction of the Kraken from the book “Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des mollusques”
A depiction of the Kraken from the book “Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des mollusques”

The Kraken, a legendary sea monster, emerged from the maritime mythology of Scandinavian folklore, where tales of a colossal cephalopod-like creature lurking off the coasts of Norway and Greenland captured the imagination.

With its monstrous tentacles and mythical prowess, it is said to have terrorized sailors and swallowed entire ships whole. Interestingly, this deep-sea enigma is thought to be a larger-than-life interpretation of the very real giant squid, a creature that prowls the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean.

However, numerous old images and drawings depict the Kraken as an octopus. This is not surprising, because this creature is quite peculiar itself. So, no matter which Kraken you choose as the basis for your stencil, both squid and octopus have the right to be.

But how would a Kraken make a good tattoo, you may ask? Check out our collection of 60+ Kraken tattoos and see for yourself. As for the symbolism, aside from “looking awesome and epic”, a Kraken tattoo can represent:

  • ? Power and strength: The Kraken, as a colossal sea monster tattoo, just like a shark, represents formidable strength and power.
  • ? Adventurous spirit: A Kraken tattoo can symbolize a love for adventure and the exploration of uncharted territories.
  • ? Fearlessness: Having a Kraken inked can symbolize fearlessness in facing the unknown or confronting challenges.
  • ? Overcoming challenges: The Kraken’s ability to adapt to its environment can symbolize adaptability and versatility.

What Made The Kraken So Popular?

What Made The Kraken So Popular?

The Kraken featured in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series did have a significant impact on the popular image of the Kraken. The movie portrays the Kraken as a huge, tentacled monster with a scary presence, acting as a legendary villain in the plot.

The way the filmmakers created its appearance, special effects, and depiction had an impact on how the Kraken is imagined by many in mainstream media. As a result, this cinematic representation has become a reference point in discussions about the Kraken, influencing subsequent portrayals in various forms of media, including art, literature, and other films.

And how can we not mention the legend that gave rise to the meme “Release the Kraken”? It’s a commonly used meme and catchphrase, often for humorous effect, to convey a yearning for something forceful or extreme to be unleashed. 

The origin comes from the “Clash of the Titans” of 1981, in which the character Zeus commands the release of the Kraken, a massive sea monster, to punish those who defy the gods. The Kraken takes center stage as the monstrous pet of the sea god, Poseidon. Although this creature is in no way related to Greek mythology, it definitely made an impact on the meme culture.

Release Your Kraken with 60 Best Kraken Tattoo Designs!

Let’s not pull the devil by its tentacles any further. Brace yourself, as you embark on a journey to the mesmerizing realm of Kraken tattoos!

If you find a treasure that caught your eye, be sure to share your ideas with a professional tattoo artist.

Release Your Kraken with 60 Best Kraken Tattoo Designs!

Hyperrealistic Kraken Tattoo

Get ready for some serious nautical vibes with these realistic Kraken tattoo masterpieces! These tats are like having a piece of the ocean’s wild magic on your skin. The detail is so deep you can practically feel the tentacles moving. And the eyes? Wild and menacing, just like the whole scenery.

This section features our artists, Kari Barbra, Phil Robertson, and Neil Clark.

Simple Kraken Tattoo

While realistic designs really impress with their wow effect, such full-body artwork is not for everyone. This is why we also prepared a collection of simple Kraken tattoo designs for you all.

This section features our artist, Luis Otero.

These designs capture the essence of the legendary sea creature in clean, straightforward lines. No extra frills, just the raw power of the Kraken in simple lines.

Cute Kraken Tattoo

Let’s take our sea monster out there, but make it adorable! Somehow, everyone is afraid of the Kraken, as they can destroy a huge ship in an instant. But who are we to accuse them?! Maybe, just maybe, they really, really love hugs and… well… went a little overboard? ????

Dive into cuteness overload with these Kraken tattoo cuddles! Tiny tentacles? Cute eyes? Bring it on, this Kraken has got a modern glow-up.

Etching Kraken Tattoo

In this captivating engraving-style Kraken tattoo, the colossal sea creature emerges from the depths with an air of ancient mystique, like the Kraken’s been engraved in the coolest history book ever. 

A Kraken tattoo in etching style would showcase the mythical sea monster with intricate details and fine lines, reminiscent of classical engravings. It’s not just ink, it’s a whole vibe of old-school style with a touch of ocean mystery. 

Palm Kraken Tattoo

Next on the line, we introduce to you a collection of hand-sized Kraken tattoo ideas, where the mythical sea creature finds a unique home on the canvas of your hand. Depending on which type of Kraken you want, you either get to choose between eight or ten tentacles. 

Still, we only have five fingers, which is a bit short of the room… Not to worry though, this Kraken arm tattoo has got your palm on lock with tentacles that fit your fingers like a glove as if you decide to carry a tiny-tiny sea monster with you.

? Tip:
If a Kraken tattoo seems too extra for you, take a look at our jellyfish tattoos!

Skull Kraken Tattoo

Get ready for some spine-chilling dark nautical vibes. Each tattoo design seamlessly blends the iconic Kraken with intricate skull motifs, creating a powerful symbol of the sea’s enigmatic forces and the mysteries of death and the afterlife.

Kraken and Ship Tattoo

A tale of chaos and nature’s triumph, some of them take inspiration from sailors & pirates, and some pay tribute to the fabled “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Amidst the remnants of the shipwreck, the legendary Kraken intertwines its limbs to reveal its true power. Or maybe not a ship, but a lighthouse instead. Alas, it’s an unfortunate turn of events for the crew. Ahoy, ahoy, set sail, oh buoy…

A Large-Scale Kraken Tattoo

Going beyond the usual forearm kraken tattoo, spanning all over the body, mostly from chest to back, this idea is all about creating a visually stunning portrayal of Kraken tentacles in various styles and themes. 

A Tattoo With Cthulhu

Take a step into the cosmic abyss, inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s mythical universe. Each tattoo brings to life the eldritch horrors of the deep, showcasing the iconic and nightmarish imagery of Cthulhu.

From intricate tentacles to otherworldly landscapes, these tattoos pay homage to the cosmic horror genre, capturing the essence of the ancient and malevolent deity.

Davy Jones Tattoo

Embark on a nautical odyssey with the legendary captain of the Flying Dutchman, Davy Jones! Just like the Kraken from “Pirates of the Caribbean” itself, Davy Jones shares the impact they both made on the image of Kraken we know today.

Ursula Tattoo

Ursula, the villain in Disney’s animated film and Andersen’s fairy tale “The Little Mermaid”, is not explicitly portrayed as a Kraken or a traditional sea monster. However, we still think she is worth mentioning, and these tattoos bring Ursula’s sassy vibes and tentacled fierceness to life.

Bonus: Squidward Tattoo!

Surprising, isn’t it? We couldn’t leave this iconic character behind. This grumpy art connoisseur for sure is a vibe for both his fans and those who bear the burden of adulthood. Pick your favorite moment with him and let his artistic flair inspire your next piece of art to a new level!

Is It Worth Making a Large-Scale Tattoo?

Is It Worth Making a Large-Scale Tattoo?

Getting a large-scale tattoo is a significant commitment and requires careful consideration. It is a long-term collaboration between you and your tattoo artist. Take your time in the planning stages, and be sure that the design, size, and placement align with your preferences and lifestyle.

Before going for a big tattoo, think about the bigger picture first:

? Everything comes with a price

We don’t just mean the price of a tattoo, although this is also an important factor. You also pay with your time, as large-scale tattoos are never done in one session. Be prepared to plan your visits to the tattoo artist, starting from the idea and right up to the aftercare of your tattoo.

Think carefully about your project. A huge tattoo cannot be covered, nor it can be removed that easily, even with laser tattoo removal procedures.

Can’t think of any tattoo ideas? Check out this step-by-step guide for creating an original tattoo!

? Pain toleration

Larger tattoos often require longer healing times, leading to extended periods of discomfort. Extended tattoo healing period may require additional care and attention to ensure optimal results.

☀️ Sun Exposure

While working on your tattoo, you should protect it from the sun as much as possible to prevent unwanted burns and fading.

And even afterward, you need to keep an eye on it, especially if you’re going for a blackwork piece.

♾️ Lifestyle Aftermath

Think about the long-term implications of a large-scale tattoo. How will it age over time? Assess how having a large tattoo could affect your life. Think about your job and daily activities. Depending on the design’s visibility and content, think about how it blends with your way of living and meets any societal or work norms.


And with that, our spectacular voyage comes to a close. The Kraken, once a mere sea monster, has transformed into more — a symbol of adventure and a sprinkle of oceanic mischief. Beyond its mythical origins, the Kraken holds a tapestry of rich symbolism, rendering it an irresistible choice for those seeking inked tales of the sea.

We trust this article has been both enlightening and informative, leaving you inspired to dive into the depths of traditional Kraken tattoo symbolism for your next tattoo adventure. For those ready to embark on their tattoo journey, don’t forget to peruse our catalog of the finest tattoo artists

May your ink be as legendary as the mighty Kraken!?


? What Does a Sea Monster Tattoo Mean?

A sea monster tattoo often symbolizes mystery, power, and the untamed forces of the ocean. It’s an admirable choice for those drawn to the enigmatic allure of the sea.

? What Does an Octopus Tattoo Mean?

It’s all about being smart and adaptable. An octo tattoo shows you’re all about handling life’s twists and turns with mad skills.

? Are There Different Styles of Kraken Tattoos?

Totally! Kraken ink comes in all flavors — from hyperreal ship Kraken tattoo design to artsy minimalism. Find the style that vibes with your taste, whether you’re into detailed masterpieces or keeping it simple.

? Do Kraken Tattoos Hold a Deep Meaning?

Oh, absolutely! Kraken tattoos often represent strength, a bit of chaos, and nature’s triumph.

? What Is the Best Place for a Kraken Tattoo?

That’s your call! Whether it’s grepping on the forearm, rockin’ the back, or a Kraken thigh tattoo. Pick a spot that’s as epic as the design itself!


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