A skull tattoo is hard to beat for badassery. But these classic subjects are more than just bikers and swashbucklers. Skulls, as symbols of death and mortality, can be found in the art and folklore of cultures all over the world. For centuries, people have been fascinated by the power of these skeletal remains, from Aztec rituals to Hindu temples. Skull tattoos look great on almost any part of the body, including the shoulder, chest, and even the hand. They are also design and style versatile, looking good as standalone pieces as well as smaller elements incorporated into larger designs. In any case, these skull tattoos in this collection are sure to provide you with plenty of ideas for your next tattoo design and placement.
Sugar Skull Tattoo
Dia de Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican tradition in which people honor their departed loved ones with a festival of music, food, and drink, as well as sugar skulls that represent the spirits of the dead. Sugar skull tattoos are especially meaningful inks that are more celebratory than mournful.
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Bull Skull Tattoo
Bulls, as symbols of strength, vitality, and natural power, can make for some impressive tattoos. Bull tattoos become even more striking when the flesh is removed, revealing the bone beneath, adding a morbid element to these powerful creatures and what they represent.
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Skull and Rose Tattoo
Few designs better capture the beauty of life and the inevitability of our demise than a skull and rose tattoo. This could be the piece for those who want to show off their understanding of life’s duality.
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Deer Skull Tattoo
Depending on which culture and tradition they are viewed by, these majestic creatures hold various symbolisms. However, they almost always represent the power of nature, a symbolism heightened by the depicted demise in deer skull tattoos.
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Small Skull Tattoo
Sure, big and bold designs have their appeal, but there is something to be said for smaller designs as well. This is especially true for small skull tattoos, which allow the unmistakable meaning behind these macabre symbols to speak for themselves.
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American Traditional Skull Tattoo
Bold will prevail. This motto applies to all ink, but American traditional tattoo designs are likely the best example of this creed. Traditional skull tattoos can’t go wrong with their bold lines, fully saturated colors, and the distinct visage of this bone.
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Ram Skull Tattoo
Rams, the goat’s larger, nastier cousin, are powerful symbols of power and virility. Plus, those horns are just cool. Ram skull tattoos take all of this symbolic meaning and add a macabre twist that is sure to turn heads by recreating the look of polished bone.
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Cow Skull Tattoo
If you’ve ever visited the American southwest, you know how appealing the wide-open spaces and sense of freedom are. You’ve also most likely come across the skeletal remains of some unfortunate bovine who got lost outside the wire. Cow skull tattoos encapsulate this feeling of beautiful desolation.
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Animal Skull Tattoo
Skulls, whether human or animal, hold a fascination for many people. Animal tattoos are a great way for people who identify with a specific creature to add a unique twist to a design dedicated to their favorite animal.
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Snake Skull Tattoo
Snakes are symbols of vitality and the mystery of nature that have captivated people for millennia. Snake skull tattoos enliven these powerful symbols by stripping them down to reveal the bone beneath.
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Wolf Skull Tattoo
The untamed origins of man’s best friend; humans and wolves have a shared history dating back thousands of years. Wolf tattoos are perfect for those who understand but do not fear the end because these apex predators are fearless symbols of loyalty and the wild.
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Cat Skull Tattoo
Cat skull tattoos are a great option for feline lovers who like things a little eerie. These unique-looking skulls are sure to turn heads, especially when applied in black and grey shading.
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Skull Crown Tattoo
All hail the king; the king is no longer alive. Crowns are an excellent way to represent power and nobility, but their meaning shifts when placed next to a skull. Skull crown tattoos can represent the passing of all human power or the fact that, while the man may die, the crown will live on.
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Longhorn Skull Tattoo
Anyone who has ever visited Texas will recognize this impressive headgear. Longhorn skull tattoos are a great choice if you are a University of Texas alumnus or simply identify with the power these wild steers evoke.
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Pirate Skull Tattoo
The good ol’ roger. The skull and crossbones, that unmistakable symbol of privateers, pirates, and sea-going ne’er do wells, has been frightening people for over a century. For those who live the pirate life, pirate skull tattoos are a must-have.
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Goat Skull Tattoo
These cantankerous animals, among other things, represent virility, sure-footedness, and revelry. Goat skull tattoos are sure to catch the eye with a good set of horns and a confident demeanor.
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Skull and Flower Tattoo
Skull and flower tattoos are another interesting juxtaposition. They’re a great way to add a bit of beauty to something wild. With thousands of different blossoms to choose from, you’re bound to find a design that suits your taste and sensibilities.
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Cowboy Skull Tattoo
These high-lonesome drifters, dressed in a cowboy hat, kerchief, and cigarette, are ideal subjects for a macabre interpretation. Cowboy tattoos are a great choice for anyone who enjoys the darker side of the Wild West.
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Bear Skull Tattoo
Bears are fierce predators who represent strength, power, and protection. Bear skull tattoos are an excellent choice for anyone looking to express their wild side in a unique way.
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Flaming Skull Tattoo
For those of us who grew up reading Ghost Rider comic books, flaming skull tattoos will always be associated with the Marvel anti-hero. These exciting designs simply look badass to everyone.
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Raven Skull Tattoo
Ravens have long been associated with death and mystery, and are sometimes thought to represent trickster gods. Raven skull tattoos have a macabre appeal because these highly intelligent birds survive by scavenging whatever they can find, often enjoying carcasses left in the wild.
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Aztec Skull Tattoo
Skeletons have a different meaning in Aztec culture, representing life, fertility, and eternity. Aztec tattoos are therefore a good choice for those who enjoy the morbid visuals of skeletons but understand the deeper, positive meaning behind them.
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Golden Skull Tattoo
When the most recognizable symbol for death and decay is depicted in shimmering gold, an interesting contrast is created. Golden skull tattoos are sure to turn heads, whether they represent the beauty of death, eternal life, or you just think they look cool.
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Viking Skull Tattoo
The Vikings, fierce warriors who pillaged the Americas hundreds of years before Columbus, have become synonymous with the warrior spirit. Viking skull tattoos are a good option for those with Norse ancestry who want to flaunt their fierce heritage.
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Japanese Skull Tattoo
Combining different styles is a great way to create unique and exciting designs, and Japanese tattoos are a great example. True striking and unique designs are possible by applying the detailed irezumi style to what is typically a Western tattoo design.
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Tribal Skull Tattoo
There are countless different styles that fall under the umbrella of “tribal,” all with swirling lines and layered patterns. This provides a talented tattoo artist with plenty of creative space to create tribal tattoos that will stand out from the crowd.
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Skull Wings Tattoo
While you should exercise caution if you are in Hell’s Angels territory, skull wings tattoos can create some impressive designs that combine these two seemingly disparate design elements into eye-catching pieces.
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Skull Octopus Tattoo
Skull octopus tattoos allow the artist to flex creative muscles on these eight-limbed, highly intelligent cephalopods, making them the ideal addition to a nautical themed sleeve or as a standalone design.
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Skull Tattoo Sleeve
If one skull isn’t enough, you might want to look into skull tattoo sleeves. These large, macabre pieces are sure to turn heads, utilizing all of the natural lines of the arm with plenty of room to create dynamic and exciting designs.
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Skull Finger Tattoo
If you want to show off a bit of ink below the cuff, skull finger tattoos are a good choice. Simple enough to be recreated on such a small canvas, the unmistakable visage of a skull is a good way to get some attention without the need for a big design.
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Hand Skull Tattoo
Hand skull tattoos are a great way to show the world your bold sensibility and macabre style if you don’t plan on getting an office job anytime soon. There’s nothing like a skull placed smack on the hand to turn heads, whether in black and grey or with a splash of color.
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Skull Neck Tattoo
In the last ten years, ink on the neck has grown in popularity, with celebrities and everyday people sporting designs above the collar. Skull neck tattoos are hard to beat if you want to show off your macabre style.
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Skull Face Tattoo
Some people may benefit from a small skull beneath the eye. Others prefer skull face tattoos to recreate the grim visage over their own features across their entire face, creating a deathly look that is sure to shock.
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Skull Back Tattoo
The largest canvas on the body, the back, is best reserved for large designs that allow the artist to fully utilize the entire canvas. Skull back tattoos may be the right choice if you want something big and detailed that will turn heads.
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Shoulder Skull Tattoo
There are thousands of unique designs that take shoulder skull tattoos to the next level by using a classic placement that is easily displayed or covered.
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Skull Tattoo FAQ:
What does a skull tattoo symbolize?
Skulls are the ultimate death symbol. As a result, skull tattoos are an excellent way to demonstrate to the world that you accept your mortality and have chosen not to fear death.
What exactly is a sugar skull tattoo?
Sugar skulls, which are used to represent departed loved ones during the Mexican holiday of Dia de Muertos, are part of a colorful and festive tradition that continues to inspire millions every November.
What is the significance of a sugar skull tattoo?
For some, these brightly colored skulls may simply be attractive designs that they wish to have tattooed on their bodies. However, for others, these skulls may represent lost loved ones whom they wish to honor with permanent body art.