60+ Serene Mermaid Tattoo Ideas To Serenade Your Eyes

By Jason Hamilton / September 17, 2019
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Mermaids are one of the most disputed mythical creatures.  They are described as having the top half of a woman’s body and the bottom half is that of a fish.  Mermaids are often attributed to things like floods, sea storms, and other disasters.  The story of the sirens, beautiful women who would lure ships into cliffs with their gorgeous voices, is often linked to that of the mermaid.  In some other tales, mermaids are said to be bountiful and bring sea treasures to men.  These mermaids will fall into a star crossed love affair with a sailor and be forever doomed to love from afar.  One of the most popular tales of mermaids is that of “The Little Mermaid” written by Hans Christian Anderson and made into a classic Disney cartoon (with a few modifications because old fairy tales are actually pretty gruesome).  Mermaid tattoos are prevalent mostly because the roots of tattooing stem from the time at sea.  It stands to reason they would fit into most nautical tattoo designs, especially since they are reputed to be incredibly beautiful beings.

A tattoo of a mermaid with a highly detailed tail.

A colorful and detailed little mermaid tattoo.


A tattoo of an intricately made mermaid tattoo.

A watercolor style little mermaid tattoo.


A highly detailed full side tattoo of a mermaid.

In this article, we will be sharing with you our amazingly curated gallery of mermaid tattoo designs. We will also be sharing with you a background on the said tattoo design and the various styles you can do with it.


The Story of The Mermaid Tattoo

Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, mermaids are said to be offsprings of gods and goddesses who make love with sea creatures. Mermaids also have the same symbolism as Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty and Venus, goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. These similarities could have come from the beauty of these Greek goddesses and mermaids have.

A mermaid in bottle tattoo on the forearm.


A sketch-style mermaid tattoo with watercolor design.

A turquoise tailed mermaid tattooed on the upper sleeve.


A redhead mermaid tattoo on the thigh.


A highly detailed mermaid tattoo.

However, no one knows for sure if mermaids are beautiful. There is no doubt that The Little Mermaid has something to do with it although it was also patterned to what sailors and captains of ships said about mermaids.

Seafarers and Sailors

According to seafarers, mermaids are sea creatures that are only seen in the night when the waters are calm and the moon shines brightly. Mermaids’ skin is as luminous as the waters and it is only at night that their skin glows under the surface.

A sleeve tattoo of an intricately designed mermaid.


A cartoonish styled tattoo of The Little Mermaid.

A highly detailed thigh tattoo of a mermaid.


An upper sleeve tattoo of a mermaid with a galaxy tattoo background.


A large thigh tattoo of a mermaid’s head.

But unlike Ariel in the Disney movie, mermaids are said to be persuasive. They will tempt the sailors and play with their weakness until they lure them towards the rocks where they perch and drown them in the waters. Although this is only folklore, the image of the mermaid is still depicted as dangerous beauty.

Mermaid Tattoo Symbolism and Meanings

For a tattoo, mermaids have a lot of meaning and symbolism attached to them. This is a list of those meanings.

Love and beauty

As already explained in the history and origin of mermaids, love and beauty is the most prominent symbol of the mermaid.

A sketch-style thigh tattoo of a nude mermaid.


A full sleeve and colorful mermaid tattoo with underwater themes.

An upper sleeve tattoo of a mermaid.

A highly detailed mermaid tail tattoo.


A green and fully detailed mermaid tattoo embezzled in pieces of jewelry.


Because of their connection with Venus, the goddess of fertility, mermaids are also used as meanings of motherhood, fertility, and sensuality.


Needless to say, mermaids portray femininity. Although this tattoo does not mean to be sexist, it just so happens that mermaids have a lot of features and characteristics that are known to portray females.

A simple but detailed tattoo of a mermaid.


A highly detailed tattoo of a mermaid.


An upper sleeve tattoo of an intricate mermaid.

A skeletal styled thigh tattoo of a mermaid.

A tattoo of the little mermaid with a skeleton.


Because of the mystery that is associated with them, mermaids are a symbol of magic. They are mythical creatures after all. There are also accounts that claim that mermaids have special powers.

Love of the Sea

If you want to use a mermaid to portray your love for the sea, then you are free to do so. They may not be as obvious as a tattoo of a ship or anchor, but a mermaid looking out the sea from the rock they are sitting on shows the love of the waters and the horizon ahead.

A simple but detailed leg tattoo of a mermaid.

A cute forearm tattoo of a cat mermaid.

a forearm tattoo of an intricate mermaid tattoo.mermaid tattoo 36


A highly detailed and large side tattoo of a green tailed mermaid.

A blue and pink colored watercolor tattoo of a mermaid’s tail.


Last but not the least is the symbol of danger. Mermaids themselves are considered dangerous simply because they are known to trick a man into the waters.

If you will notice, most of these symbolisms and meanings describe a woman. This is because mermaids are used as a sign of feminism. Rarely is there a tattoo depicting mermen. In fact, there is no folklore talking about mermen and their characteristics.

Why You Should Get A Mermaid Tattoo

With all that history about mermaids, it seems that having a mermaid tattoo symbolizes more bad than good. But before you abandon your mermaid tattoo dreams, here are a few things you should think about that might persuade you to still get one.

It’s full of mystery.

Mermaids are full of mystery simply because there is no way of knowing if they are true or not. Any tattoo that is linked to folklore or legends creates a certain mystery with it that people who see your tattoo will be naturally drawn to ask you about it. You can also add a touch of a mystery about yourself. You can add more personal meaning to your mermaid tattoo so that it can mean more to you than a folklore.

They’re a beauty.

Needless to say, mermaids are beautiful. From stories to movies, mermaids are depicted with long wavy hair and white skin. They also have nice voices that when they sing underwater, they bring a sense of calmness. Of course, all of these are based on stories, but what you should focus more on is the reputation they have with people. Since mermaids are known to be pretty, your tattoo will automatically have that effect too.

A tattoo of Ariel from The Little Mermaid

A tattoo of an intricately designed mermaid.

A small but extremely detailed tattoo of a mermaid on the wrist.

A highly detailed upper sleeve tattoo of a mermaid.

A neotraditional tattoo on the forearm of a mermaid.

You can play with colors.

Depending on the design and features of your mermaid, you can either use black or colorful ink. The coloring is highly recommended if you want to emphasize features of the mermaid (say, their hair color). It also adds more beauty if they have a background. However, if you are choosing a skeleton mermaid, then black ink is highly recommended because it adds more power and character to the design.

You can customize features.

If there is one characteristic of mermaids that is notable, that is their beauty. And since the definition of beauty varies from one person to another, you are free to design your mermaid tattoo in your own definition of beauty. If you are having a colored tattoo, then feel free to make your mermaid a brunette or a redhead. You can also adjust their facial features to resemble the people you admire.

An intricate forearm tattoo of a mermaid.

A collection of various mermaid tattoo designs.

Three various detailed mermaid tattoo designs.

A collection of mermaid-themed tattoo designs.

A highly detailed mermaid tattoo.

They can have scenic backgrounds.

Other than that, what other creature has more scenic backgrounds than mermaids? Aside from having the actual mermaid on your body, you can also design a fitting background in your tattoo. These backgrounds can either be a full moon, the sea, or even a rock where the mermaid is sitting. It’s even more beautiful if the moon has a reflection on the waters.

The Styles You Can Do With The Mermaid Tattoo

The mermaid tattoo has been fairly gaining popularity in recent decades and because of its rise in popularity, more and more styles are available for this tattoo design. From the old traditional mermaid tattoo used by sailors to newer and revamped geometric mermaid tattoo, this tattoo is truly one of those tattoo designs that can jive with the times.

Here are just some of the best mermaid tattoo designs we saw that will interest you:

Geometric Tattoo

In this day and age, the tattoo industry is continuously growing at a rapid pace. Its popularity continues to soar as more and more people are getting tattoos to express their selves. It’s a style choice for most people just like adding a necklace or earrings to a dress. The tattoos people get, however, do not only show off their style but rather it also shows their personality as well.

As the days go by and tattoo designs come and go, a lot of the designs that come out in recent years continues to challenge tattoo artists and tattoo enthusiasts alike. One of the most challenging to be released in the past few years was geometric tattoo designs. Everyone in the body art industry and the tattoo community are raving about geometric tattoo designs for quite some time now and for sure you would like to ask us if it’s worth the rave reviews and comments it is having now. Well, it is for you to decide but worry not as we will help you figure out if it is really worth it.

A leg tattoo of a mermaid with geometric detailing.

An abstract style mermaid tattoo with geometric tattoo details.

A fully detailed mermaid tattoo with geometric fish scales on its tail.

A small side boob tattoo of a mermaid with geometric detailing.

A tattoo of geometric mermaid inked on the ankles.

Since its introduction in the body art industry a few years ago, a lot of designs were made that can be classified under the geometric tattoo design category. Most of these designs are modern and artsy and here are some of the mermaid tattoo designs which feature geometric themes:

A full on geometric mermaid tattoo inked on the thigh.

A flower headed mermaid tattoo with geometric patterns on the tail.

A vibrantly detailed and exotically made geometric tattoo of a mermaid.

An upper sleeve tattoo of a mermaid in full geometric detail.

A geometric tattoo design of a skeleton mermaid.

Watercolor Tattoo

For the longest time, tattoos, no matter what the design is, lacks something that all tattoo artists and tattoo enthusiasts can agree on; tattoo designs lack that artistry that all other mediums of art have. This perception is why the body art industry has not been a famous art form in the past. Everything changed when different colors of ink are slowly introduced in the industry and today, watercolor tattoo designs exists because of the apparent lack of creativity in tattoo designs and with the introduction of other colors in the industry, this particular tattoo design is now poised to dominate the industry with its creative styling.

A watercolor tattoo styled little mermaid tattoo on the sleeve.

A highly detailed and vibrantly colored mermaid tattoo in watercolor tattoo style.

A silhouette styled tattoo of the little mermaid on the shoulder.

An intricately detailed leg and thigh tattoo of a mermaid.

A watercolor tattoo of a mermaid and a jellyfish.

Over the last decade, the explosion of various tattoo ink colors resulted in an idea that is then considered bold and inconceivable by old tattoo artists and enthusiasts: Watercolor tattoos. Everyone thought that mimicking modern art on the skin will never be possible until the first batch of watercolor tattoos sprung up in the latter half of the 2000s. These tattoos were considered out of this world because of its richness in color that was never before seen in the industry. Soon, the design caught on and it is now a trend for both tattoo artists and enthusiasts.

Here are some of the best watercolor tattoo designs we saw that features the mermaid:

A ginger head mermaid in watercolor tattoo style.

A crayon style watercolor tattoo of the little mermaid.

An intricate watercolor tattoo of the little mermaid.

A multi-color and vibrantly detailed watercolor tattoo of a mermaid on the thigh.

A forearm tattoo of Ariel, the little mermaid, rising from the water.

An intricate watercolor tattoo of the little mermaid.

A blue and green watercolor mermaid tattoo tattooed on the abdomen.

A vibrantly colored and highly detailed leg tattoo of a mermaid.

A turquoise colored watercolor mermaid tattoo.

A vibrantly colored watercolor mermaid tattoo inked on the forearm.

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About the author

Jason Hamilton

Jason has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon. Jason would be very happy to answer any questions about tattoos that you may have! Leave a comment below and he’ll answer it for you right away!

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