Getting to Know Sea Turtle Tattoos Plus 50+ Design Ideas

By Jason Hamilton / March 30, 2020
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Animals are popular designs for body art mainly because of their cuteness and their characteristics that can also reflect the personality of anyone who wears them as a tattoo. But among all of those, probably one of the well-loved designs are sea turtle tattoos. They may not be as cute as cats, dogs, or rabbits but they still make a good design for tattoos because of their meaning and versatility. Let’s take a closer look at it to see what makes this tattoo design worth it, shall we?

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Turtles in Different Cultures

Among many animals, the turtle is probably one of the most popular ones that play important roles in some cultures. In Hawaii, for instance, sea turtles are often associated with good luck. This is probably because of how they experience and survive life’s challenges even at a young age: once they hatch from eggs on the shore, they already have to make their way to the water, fully exposed to attacks from predators and completely vulnerable. And even if they reach the sea, they still have no means of defending themselves. And yet, they often survive and be able to see adulthood.

Sea turtles play a big part in Native American mythology too. According to legends, North America, also being referred to as Turtle Island, is balanced on the back of a humongous mythical turtle who offered its shell as a home to all land animals.

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Sea Turtle as Tattoo

Even when you use sea turtles as a tattoo, it is still seen as a positive symbol. For many people, sea turtles are a representation of strength because of how they survive life at the sea.

They are also seen as a symbol of immortality, good health, and resilience probably because of their lifespan. In fact, they can live up to around 80 years; while land turtles can even reach the age of 100. And because of their experience, they are also known as a symbol of wisdom.

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Sea turtles are also known to represent perseverance and patience because of the children’s story, The Rabbit and the Turtle, wherein the latter won the race through calm and consistent actions. They are also associated with serenity because of their calm and slow pace.

Sea turtle tattoos surely have beautiful meanings. And you can make it all the more meaningful if you tweak its design. In case you’re wondering how, read on to see how you can give your sea turtle tattoos a good boost.

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Popular Design Variations for Sea Turtle Tattoos

There are a number of ways on how you can make your sea turtle tattoos meaningful and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. And lucky you because you’ve come to the right place as we will give you some popular ideas on that. Below are some samples on how you can play with its design and even incorporate it with other meaningful tattoo symbols.

Go for Tribal Patterns

Adding tribal patterns to sea turtle tattoos is one of the popular ways to make it look even cooler, especially for men. But such pattern also has meanings to it and is good if you want to show off your social status or heritage. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate tribal patterns to sea turtle tattoos.

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A tribal tattoo of a sea turtle with swirls placed on the bicep

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Another tribal sea turtle tattoo but this time it is placed on the right bicep

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A tattoo of a sea turtle with some dotwork details

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A tattoo of a sea turtle with a tribal tattoo print on its other half

A tribal sea turtle paired with a star and coordinates tattoos

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An intricately detailed tribal tattoo of a sea turtle

A tribal tattoo of a sea turtle placed on the back

Make it Realistic

If you want a very eye-catching tattoo, go for realistic details. This will enhance your tattoo’s meaning, though. Still, it’s a nice detail that will surely grab anyone’s attention. Here are some samples on how you can make your sea turtle tattoo look even more realistic.

A colored realistic tattoo of a sea turtle

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A realistic swimming sea turtle tattoo in black and gray ink

A small but realistic wrist tattoo of a baby sea turtle

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Another sea turtle tattoo with realistic details

A close up of a sea turtle’s face

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A sea turtle that looks like it’s floating on the palm

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A turtle tattoo that looks real with its intricate details

Add Geometric Details

The symmetrical patterns that geometric tattoos have aren’t just for aesthetics. Well, true enough, they are satisfying to see but it’s more than just that. Contrary to what others believe, geometric tattoos and pattern are meaningful too. Even basic shapes like squares and circles have their own representations. Hence, it makes a nice addition to any tattoo, especially sea turtles. Take a look at these samples on how you can combine these two.

A geometric wrist tattoo of a turtle with a splash of bright colors

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A combination of dotwork and geometric details

Another intricately detailed sea turtle tattoo with subtle geometric details

A forearm tattoo of a sea turtle made geometric patterns

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A geometric sketch type chest tattoo of a sea turtle paired with a number tattoo

A sea turtle tattoo with triangle and circle patterns

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A realistic sea turtle tattoo accentuated with geometric patterns

Add Some Waves

Sea turtle and wave tattoo designs don’t just go along well together merely because sea turtles live in the sea. Rather, they also go along pretty well because of the meanings they represent when used as tattoos. Like the sea turtles, waves also represent strength. But it is also associated with independence, emotion, and even the good parts of existence. In case you want to add a wave to your sea turtle tattoo, here are some ideas on how you can pair them.

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A sea turtle that looks like surfing

A sketch style sea turtle tattoo with waves as backdrop

A sleeve tattoo of sea turtles diving deep in the ocean with clownfishes

A leg tattoo combination of sea turtle and wave in black and blue ink

A combination of sea turtle and wave tattoos in tribal style

A minimalist bicep tattoo made with heart, wave, sea turtle sea shell, palm tree, and word tattoos

A realistic turtle tattoo with a wave on its back

Accentuate it with a Hibiscus

Hibiscus also carries various good meanings that make it yet another perfect pair for sea turtle tattoo designs. It has a lot of meanings depending on cultures but in general, it is often associated with beauty, gentleness, and fragility. It is often worn by women but men and other genders can slay it too. Here are some ideas on that.

A sea turtle with a hibiscus on top of its shell

A top view of a sea turtle with a hibiscus on the shell giving off some tribal vibe

A leg tattoo of a Hawaiian sea turtle tattoo with a hibiscus

A blue sea turtle tattoo with a small hibiscus at its leg

A leg tattoo with a traditional-style sea turtle and hibiscus tattoos

A combination of sea turtle and hibiscus tattoo placed on the thigh

A sea turtle with a hibiscus-printed shell

Add a Plumeria

If you’re fond of flowers, aside from hibiscus, you can also add plumeria to your sea turtle tattoo. This flower symbolizes positivity and new beginnings that also go well with the sea tattoo turtle’s meanings. Here are some samples on how you can pair them.

Another leg tattoo of a sea turtle giving off some Hawaiian vibe

A foot tattoo of a sea turtle surrounded by plumerias

A realistic tattoo of a sea turtle paired with a plumeria

A back tattoo of a tribal sea turtle with wave and plumeria tattoo

A combination of sea turtle, plumeria, and lizard tattoos giving off some Polynesia vibe

A foot tattoo of a sea turtle with realistic details paired with pink plumeria flowers

A minimalist tattoo of a sea turtle with a plumeria flower at the center of its shell

Go for Palm Trees

If you’re not a fan of flower, though, don’t worry, you can add a palm tree tattoo designs to your sea turtle tattoo. Both symbols represent strength but the former also represents wisdom, as well as goodness. Check out some samples on how you can combine these two symbols.

A colored tattoo of a sea turtle swimming in the shore with a view of palm trees lining the horizon

A sea turtle and palm tree tattoo with jaw-dropping details looking like a mini painting

A Polynesian tattoo of a sea turtle and palm tree

A back tattoo of a sea turtle and palm tree tattoo with Polynesian patterns

An ankle tattoo of an outline of a sea turtle with a palm tree at its center

A sea turtle with a view of the beach at its center

A realistic tattoo of a sea turtle swimming with silhouettes of palm trees

Add Some Text

If you want something more unique and personal, adding a text to it will do. You can add a name or even an inspirational quote to it to make it more meaningful. Here are some inspirations for that.

An inspirational quote paired with a galaxy-inspired turtle tattoo

A turtle tattoo in green, yellow, and blue ink with a reminder tattoo

A leg tattoo of a realistic turtle paired with a name tattoo


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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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