Shark tattoos have long been seen as the artistic expression of bravery, and an emblem for protection. The predatory nature of the shark makes it the perfect symbol for fortitude and a toughness of spirit. Many sailors wore shark tattoos to show their fearlessness towards the often menacing temper of the sea. This general emotion, alongside the sleek body and intimidating appearance that these creatures are known for, make this tattoo a unique and interesting piece.
When considering shark tattoos, it is interesting to know the varieties of shark available for your use. Two of the most favored are the great white (known for its enormous size and voracious appetite), and the hammerhead shark (not as commonly known for any particular viciousness, it is popular mainly due to its otherworldly, almost alien-like appearance). Although you may choose to use these very recognizable types, you may also go for a more unfamiliar variety of shark. One good example of this is the cookiecutter shark (also known as the cigar, or luminous shark). This creature, like the hammerhead, seems almost supernatural, and would make for a very different piece of art. They are relatively small in size, sport green pupils, a perfectly rounded and prominent lower jaw with sharp teeth, and an underbelly that glows with a blue and green luminescence.
Shark tattoos are not regularly seen by themselves, but are often placed with other undersea life, and a vast array of nautical themes. A shark chasing a small fish, using its large bite to free itself from the arms of an octopus, or prowling around the sides of a ship are all frequently displayed images. Shark tattoos may also depict some of the vast mythology that they carry. You could easily use the Australian aborigine’s myth of Bangudja (half man, half tiger shark) in battle with the dolphin man, leaving the rocks of the Gulf of Carpentaria red. You may also try a depiction of the myth from the indigenous people of Solomon; Dakuwanga, a shark god, was said to devour lost souls. This depiction could show translucent human figures swimming in a dark ocean, whilst being stalked by a large, impressive shark. One more example would be that of Lamia (a Greek daimon whose name means ‘lone shark’) floating in the sea, carrying her child Akheilos (or, ‘the Lipless One’, who was said to be transformed into a shark by Aphrodite).
There are many original ideas that can be used in shark tattoos. Regardless, though, of how you decide to depict these fierce and fearsome creatures, they will always remain a symbol of a strong and predatory nature.