Tattoo Inspiration for Every Soul

22 Inspiring Ocean Tattoo Ideas For You To Dive In Right Now

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Whether you’re obsessed with the ocean, water, or all the crawling creatures you see on TV, you might want to make your passion permanent with an ocean-themed tattoo. Getting an ocean tattoo might be your way of celebrating your ups and downs, and that’s OK. What does an ocean tattoo mean?

Ocean-themed tattoos can carry a myriad of meanings, depending on the styles and symbols you opt for, the placement of the tattoo, and the way you view the ocean. Some people agree that oceans represent the road to self-discovery, new opportunities, new beginnings, or starting a brand new chapter in life. 

Others agree that oceans signify the undying devotion you have for someone special, your friendships, and the connections you make with people who mean something to you. Whatever the case might be, ocean tattoos are all the rage these days, and for a good reason, too.

We suggest you go with the flow and check out the best beachy, sandy, ocean-themed tattoos we rounded up for you down below. Surf’s up, fellow mermaids!

1. An ocean-themed sticker sleeve tattoo

Credit: @erynsportfolio

A sticker sleeve tattoo seems to be the perfect way for people to get a bunch of tattoos without committing to a bigger, bolder piece. A sticker sleeve consists of a bunch of small tattoos on one area of your body, such as your arm or leg.

An ocean-themed sticker sleeve might be the right way to go for people who adore all things ocean.

2. A wave tattoo on the upper arm

Credit: @tattoostudiobecause

When we’re talking about ocean tattoos, we can’t overlook the beauty of wave tattoos. Whether you’re a surfer, someone who appreciates the beach, or someone who can’t get enough of swimming, you might want to get a wave tattoo.

3. A line-art boat tattoo


A boat tattoo screams “I’m obsessed with the ocean!” Whenever you’re on the fence about whether or not you should get an ocean-themed tattoo, don’t shy away from experimenting with line-art tattoos that aren’t going to take up too much space (or time!).

4. A sun and wave tattoo on the foot

Credit: @ilatj_

What better way to commemorate your ocean obsession, right? Getting a sun and wave tattoo can be as simple as getting an outline of the two symbols tattooed on your ankles, and that’s what’s great about ocean tattoos. We suggest going small, but you’re the one who decides what works for you.

5. A shark tattoo

Credit: @delamartattoo

What about a shark tattoo? When you decide to get an ocean-themed tattoo, you can go all out with different creatures that represent who you are as a person. A shark tattoo, for example, represents power, strength, dominance, and ferocity.

6. A whale tattoo on the collarbone

Credit: @noul_tattoo

What’s great about collarbone tattoos seems to be the fact that they’re easily concealed and revealed, depending on your personal preference.

You can play with different ocean-themed elements and make your tattoo a true work of art. You can get a whale tattoo, for example, because whales represent power, intelligence, gentleness, and a peaceful life.

7. A matching ocean tattoo

Credit: @simya_tattoo

When you and your bestie want to get matching tattoos that commemorate your friendship, you might want to opt for a wave tattoo. A matching wave tattoo typically represents the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the ocean which can refer to the nature of your friendship, too.

8. A tattoo of a hammerhead and a white shark

Credit: @delamartattoo

Whenever you’re planning on getting a sticker sleeve tattoo or an ocean-themed tattoo that consists of a couple of elements, go for sharks. Whether you go for a hammerhead, a white shark, a whale shark, or even a tiger shark, you’re guaranteed to attract attention and raise a question or two.

9. A tattoo of an oyster shell

Credit: @terracotta_goth_tattoo

What about shells, though? Whenever you’re itching to get ocean-inspired ink, you might want to consider getting a tattoo of a shell. Shells are strikingly beautiful and stunning, and they’re a great way to pay homage to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, fertility, and pleasure.

10. A seashell tattoo

Credit: @delamartattoo

A simple seashell tattoo can do the trick, too. After all, there are millions and millions of seashells to choose between when you decide to bite the bullet and get an ocean tattoo. A simple seashell represents intimacy, innocence, and marriage – and that might be something you’re on the hunt for.

11. A turtle tattoo

Credit: @delamartattoo

A turtle tattoo might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but ocean enthusiasts tend to get excited whenever they’re presented with a shelled creature. A turtle tattoo represents immortality, strength, stability, fertility, and creation, and can be a great way to honor your love of marine life.

12. A tiny wave tattoo on the ribcage

Credit: @handitrip

Who would’ve thought that a tiny wave tattoo could make a world of difference? Whether you’re a first-timer or a modern minimalist who prefers small, simple tattoos, you might be better off with a tiny ocean-themed tattoo on the ribcage, the collarbone, or even behind the ear.

13. A manta ray tattoo

Credit: @__elleink

We can’t get enough of ocean creatures! Whenever you’re planning on paying an ode to your love of oceans, you might want to consider getting a manta ray tattoo. A manta ray tattoo represents patience, guidance, and adaptability because manta rays are guardians of the sea and the ocean.

14. A jellyfish tattoo

Credit: @linda.tattooing

What’s the tea on jellyfish tattoos, you wonder? Jellyfish tattoos are a symbol of strength, protection, and defending one’s family and friends, and that’s why they’re quite popular and prominent among ocean enthusiasts. Jellyfish are calm and serene, and that’s the vibe you get from a jellyfish tattoo, too.

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15. A tuna tattoo

Credit: @sharon_tattoos

We all love tuna sandwiches and tuna salads, but what about a tuna tattoo? A tuna tattoo represents transformation, new beginnings, new chapters, and even the struggles you need to endure to come out on the other side of the problem you’re dealing with.

16. A seahorse tattoo

Credit: @sharon_tattoos

Seahorse tattoos are mysterious, magnificent, and eye-catching, but they’re much more than meets the eye. With a seahorse tattoo, you’re sending a message to the rest of the world that you’re calm, collected, and patient when met with obstacles.

17. A tattoo of a seashell with a pearl

Credit: @caonarte

We talked your ears off with seashell tattoos, but what about a seashell with a pearl? Whether you’re a wanna-be mermaid obsessed with all things seashells or a tattoo-getter who prefers the design of a seashell with a pearl, you’re in for a treat. A pearl tattoo represents purity, sincerity, and status.

18. A seal tattoo

Credit: @delamartattoo

We’d get a seal tattoo simply because seals are the cutest ocean creatures ever! With that out of the way, though, seal tattoos typically represent courage, freedom, and grace. A seal tattoo can signify the harmony of the ocean life, as well as your obsession with all things ocean.

19. A sardine tattoo

Credit: @ediebea

Who wouldn’t want to get a sardine tattoo, right? We admit that sardines aren’t the most common tattoo motif, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to explore your creativity by working with your tattoo artist and coming up with a sick sardine tattoo.

A sardine typically represents abundance, prosperity, and progress, and that’s a great tattoo to get when you’re struggling with the financial side of your life.

20. A starfish tattoo

Credit: @delamartattoo

What about a starfish tattoo? We’re on board with getting a starfish tattoo because starfish are known to represent a myriad of meanings.

A starfish, for example, represents the goddess Venus, the goddess of love, which means that a starfish tattoo can commemorate the love you feel for your partner, your BFF, or even a family member. A starfish tattoo can carry the meaning of healing, change, and vigilance, too.

21. A tattoo of a turtle surrounded by flowers

Credit: @sharon_tattoos

We touched upon turtle tattoos, but we didn’t mention the fact that you’re allowed to play with diferent elements that amplify or completely change the meaning of the tattoo. When you decide on the ocean tattoo you want to get, you can add flowers (for example!) to signify your love of the land, too.

22. A coral tattoo

Credit: @mar__negro

We can’t talk about ocean tattoos without mentioning coral tattoos, too! A coral tattoo represents love, friendship, or hope for the future. Actually, a coral tattoo can be extremely versatile, too, because you can get a coral tattoo to represent your love of the beach, the ocean, and water.