Turtle tattoos have gained popularity ever since the hit Disney movie Finding Nemo introduced the adorable Crush (green Sea turtle). These designs might have hit a peak in recent years but if you look back into tribal tattoo history you will find that turtle tattoo designs were among the most popular designs.
Sea turtles play a vital role not only in the sea world but on land too. First of all, let me clear you a big fact – Turtles and Tortoise look alike and belong to the same family of Anapsida. But there is a key difference between the two species. Turtles can live on both lands and swim in the ocean whereas a Tortoise is lazy and lives on land. A Tortoise will drown in water if put in. Always remember this.
Meaning of Turtle Tattoo
You might have seen many cool turtle tattoo designs online and thought of getting one but before you jump onto the decision you must reason with yourself on why it would be meaningful. A Turtle tattoo design can have different meanings based on context. Here are few common meanings –
The Value of Life – Both Turtles and Tortoise can live a very long life. The great Galapagos turtle captured by Charles Darwin in 1835 died in 2006. That is around 170 years of life. A Turtle tattoo can signify that you understand how short your life is but you still work to make it beautiful.
Adaptation – Turtle can survive on both land and in the sea. A Turtle tattoo therefore will signify that you are a true survivor (pun intended to the Kung Fury Anthem). Your tattoo will indicate that you have instincts to survive on your own and you can thrive even in adverse situations. You can try a smiling turtle tattoo for that which will further symbolize that you have a positive attitude towards life. This is very similar to a cactus tattoo design.
Immortality – This symbolism might be a stretch but some people do get turtle tattoos to signify that they are immortal. If you read about mythologies of various ancient cultures you will find that there has always been a turtle god. The most important one is the Kurma avatar of Vishnu which helped mankind during the great flood. Many cultures even said that the earth is riding a turtle’s back.
From a mythological point of view, a turtle tattoo does symbolize immortality.
Creation – Since Turtle is part of many ancient mythologies, therefore, its tattoo design is also often linked with creation. You can try a tattoo design where you can show a vast island on a turtle’s back.
Explorer – Turtle travels thousands of miles on land and in the sea. It was shown in Finding Nemo too that how a turtle clan was traveling from far east to the great barrier reef near Australia. This symbolizes that Turtles tend to explore the sea and see things that are not confronted by many marine animals.
Patience – Turtle is said to be calm. Even though Turtles are Omnivorous but this does not mean that they attack anything that comes their way. Most turtles have often developed a friendship with fellow turtles and even with other marine animals. This shows that a turtle has patience and friendly nature. Your turtle tattoo can signify the same.
Placement for Turtle tattoos
While I have seen many large size turtle tattoos on my chest and back but still I find the most attractive on my wrist and arms. The small-size turtle tattoo looks far more attractive than its larger counterparts.
The final decision is yours but if you want to stand out from the crowd then try a small size turtle tattoo. You can make it even more appealing by trying a watercolor turtle tattoo. The more colorful and small (to medium) size design it is the better it will look.
Take a look at these 150+ turtle tattoo designs that will suit both men and women
Turtle Tattoo ideas
Small Turtle Tattoo Designs
Cute Turtle Tattoo Ideas
Sea Turtle Tattoos
Turtle Tattoos With Flowers
Turtle Tattoos On Foot
Matching Turtle Tattoos For Couples
Turtle Tattoos For Men
Turtle Tattoos For Women
While the turtle and tortoise belongs to the same family yet there are many anatomical differences that you should know about. Make sure that your tattoo artist knows about how a turtle looks like and does not ends up inking a tortoise tattoo on you. You can surely print out designs from the above photo gallery to get a better idea about it. Also don’t forget to share this on facebook and pinterest.
References: Turtles Significance in Mythology