125 Unique Turtle Tattoos with Meanings and Symbolisms That You Can Get This Winter!

Some people may think that the meaning of turtle tattoo is simple. It is a slow-moving sea creature that people keep as a pet or the people that are familiar with it understand that this animal is a symbol for many different meanings.

At first, turtles may not strike to you as an ideal pet for your children. They are slow, weak, and defenseless. But for some odd reason, turtles have become a popular choice of tattoo designs for many people all over the world.

In case if you are thinking of getting a tattoo, think of all the possible reasons why turtle tattoo could be a fantastic design for your body art.

turtle tattoos

The Strongest Among All

Tattoos represent something that you can relate to with your life. People who have gone through difficult periods, or have struggled with addiction go for turtle-based tattoos as a constant reminder of their struggles and journey.  The best thing about turtles is that they have just a few predators.

The reasons why turtles don’t fall into the hands of its predators are because of the hard shell. The shell safeguards the turtles from dangerous situations and those that even try to attack end up getting frustrated, and search for other weaker opponents.

The fact that turtles protect themselves with its skin improves its lifespan; therefore, in many different cultures all over the world, a turtle is a characterization of tolerance, longevity, and perseverance.

The Slowest Creature

You might have heard of the famous story about the turtle beating a hare in the race. Everyone knows that turtles are slow and steady creatures. It is their slow and steady attitude that people employ in different situations. Turtles are setting an example in the world that if you are slow and steady, you will gradually become a leader in the world.

For many, turtle tattoo-designs possess an ability to surpass difficult situations, no matter how challenging it may appear on the paper. The turtles will push through, and if difficult situations arise, it will go back into its shell for protection, fighting to live another day.

It is the animal’s method of protecting itself from different situations that people fighting with battles value the most. They believe that they can relate themselves to turtles, struggling and eventually coming out stronger for it.

turtle tattoo

Symbols and Meanings

When it comes down to turtle tattoo and its meaning, one needs to understand that the creature has been around the world for many years to make it into symbolism. Some researchers have found different fossils of turtles dating back to almost 200 million years.

With its roots dating back to million years, turtles have associated themselves with different symbols and meanings that people can use. Turtle tattoos represent love, patience, and courage, and are somewhat similar to the seahorse tattoo.

Turtles represent stability in life, protection, and innocence similar to the small birds.

Unique Turtle Tattoo Designs

There are many different types of unique designs that you can select from when discussing turtle tattoo. Below are some of the unique designs that you can consider when choosing a turtle tattoo.

1)    Baby Turtle Tattoo

Even though a baby style turtle tattoo is supposed to be all charming and sweet, this unique tattoo design looks even better when designers draw it in a conventional sketch style.  The black inks, straight lines, and unique color selections make this tattoo as one of the most popular choices for people belonging from all age groups.

Besides the traditional sketch-design, people also go for different art forms when getting a baby turtle tattoo. Minimalistic and polygon designs are popular among males aged between 20 and 30.

2)    Celtic Turtle Tattoo Design

Extremely popular among people belonging from the UK, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, Celtic tattoo designs look unique and impressive from the outside and meaningful from the inside. Blue, green, and red colors are amalgamated perfectly in a design that will blow everyone away.

3)    Cartoon Turtle Design

This is probably the most famous type of turtle tattoo in the world. The tattoo depicts cartoon based design that people get in different parts of their body. The designs are vibrant, highlighting a fresh perspective. People that are easygoing, helpful, and joyful go for cartoon-style turtle tattoos.

Popular among both males and females, these tattoos are popular among teenagers and millennials.

turtle tattoos      

4)    Hawaiian Style Turtle tattoo

If you are planning to get a turtle tattoo in a traditional Hawaiian design, you can opt for this particular tattoo. Hawaiian tattoos are all about different elements and patterns combined to make an artistic look.

Different colors and shapes incorporate with these elements and give a much-refined look. Hawaiian turtle tattoos are mostly in blue and black color depicting the ancient history of these sea creatures and how important they have become for people all around the world.

5)    Egyptian Turtle Tattoo Design

Egyptian designs focus around hieroglyphics depicting that pictures convey messages. Each image has a unique message that influencers search while making Egyptian tattoos. Egyptian designs are becoming immensely popular with people all over the world and continue to dominate the tattoo industry worldwide.

The Ankh symbol reflects upon the existence of humankind and is one of the most famous Egyptian designs available in the market. Even though scientists are yet to find out a precise meaning behind these tattoos and symbols, many believe that the vertical lines inside Egyptian tattoos highlight the importance of horizontal and spiritual connotes in the world.

6)    Japanese Turtle Tattoo

In Japanese mythology, turtles represent luck, wisdom, preservation, and longevity. In conventional Japanese tattoos, the designers portray turtles with algae or a long tail of seaweed that creates an image on the tail. These turtles are known as minogame since they are known to be intelligent and long enough to survive a large number of years in the form or shape of seaweed.

Even though minogame or turtles are uncommon in the conventional tattoo designs, the designers portray them with other water creatures. Nonetheless, they hold a considerable amount of significance in the Japanese culture.

Modern Japanese turtle tattoo designs are all about flowers and waves. Many people believe that Japanese turtle designs cover up the feminine side, but they are strangely popular among males.

7)    Sea Turtle Tattoos

Small in size but loaded with colors, sea-turtle tattoos are prevalent among females that are not only eye-catching but reflecting a unique design. The bright shades and selection of different color palette make this design appropriate for women.

In books and stories, writers describe sea turtles as joyful, friendly, and playful. They are fantastic companions, and never give up due to their spirited nature. The designers mostly use red, orange, yellow, shades of green, blue, brown, and many other colors to design a perfect sea-turtle tattoo.

8)    Polynesian Turtle Design Tattoo

Associated with different meanings, a honu or turtle is an important animal in Polynesian culture. Turtles in Polynesian traditions represent health, peace, tranquility, longevity, and joy for life.

Hono, which means turtle in Marquesan language, has many other meanings associated with it like combining and mixing families and highlighting an idea of unity.

In regards to what people may think and believe, turtles drawn in an upright position do not suggest that they are carrying a dead person’s soul in the world. A human figure should be placed near the turtle or on the turtle.

Polynesian turtle tattoo designs revolve around patterns and shapes.

9)    Honu Turtle Tattoo

Honu tattoo, commonly known as a Hawaiian green sea turtle tattoo represents unity, faith, good luck, and wisdom. People who believe in good luck, wealth, and fortune get this particular type of tattoo design.

10)    Foot Turtle Designs and Tattoos

For some strange reason, a turtle tattoo design is a fantastic idea for a foot turtle tattoo. It could be because of the association with strength and power; and that they seem to be a tremendous choice for foot or ankle designs.

Tribal turtle tattoos look unique and bold on feet and stand out different from the crowd. These designs look like jewelry for the ankle, while the watercolor design fills up the entire space. A pod of turtle represents family, and if you are paying tribute to your family, you can get some pod tattoos depending on the length of your family.

11)    Small Turtle Tattoo

Small-sized turtle tattoo designs show that beautiful tattoos don’t have to be big. It all comes down to the choice. The geometrical designs are trendy among people rooting for small-sized turtle designs. The black color is best for making a small-sized turtle design with a direct approach to different shapes and lines.

When making a small-sized tattoo, designers paint out an idea or a story. Since turtles represent a lot of emotions and feelings, designers usually create something interesting reflecting the concept and personality of the people.

12)    Cartoon Ninja Tattoo

After the popularity of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the 80s, many people from different age groups started getting Ninja turtle designs. People were going crazy for these designs, and apparently, they were a thing back then.

Making a bold statement, these ninja designs represent sheer strength and power these characters hold making them joyful and cute at the same time.



13)    Peace Turtle Tattoo Design

In recent times, many ecology and social activists termed turtles as a sign of peace and prosperity all over the world. Peace turtle tattoo designs are used by many people all over the world, particularly by people belonging from countries experiencing war and terrorism.

Turtle designs have been used extensively in writing and crafting peaceful signs and slogans. Activists use an image of a turtle along with a message highlighting peace and prosperity to the world.

If you are choosing a peace turtle tattoo, make sure that you get it in the right place.

14)    Traditional Turtle Tattoo Design

If you are searching for a classic turtle design, then this turtle art tattoo is especially for you. The conventional design inked with black and grey colors make it outstanding creation. You can choose different turtle designs and get it done in either black and grey shades or colorful shades. It depends entirely on you.

15)    Tribal Turtle Tattoos

Tribal tattoos are the most popular tattoo choices for people all over the world. These designs are not associated with tribal culture but draw an idea and inspiration from the conventional patterns and shapes. If you are searching for a tribal tattoo, make sure that you do enough research as each design and shape represents an idea or a message.

A majority of the tribal designs focus around different characteristics like black ink usage, repetitive pattern, spiritual and mythical symbolism, and bold lines.

Turtle Symbolism in Christianity

There is not much to talk about turtles in Christianity, other than the fact that people should not eat them. Leviticus-based turtles are a type of water-lizard in Christianity.

Turtles in the Eyes of Native Americans

The Native American culture is a combination of many different cultures from all over the world. In some tribal stories and myths, turtles surpassed many seas and brought back mud to create the first land. Native Americans believe that turtles represent, land, water, healing, and long life.


In recent times, more and more people are selecting different types of turtle-based tattoos on their bodies. In case if you are planning to get a turtle tattoo yourself, you need to find out your own, unique turtle design that matches perfectly with your personality.

You can decide whichever part of the body you will place these tattoos, and make sure that you know the purpose of getting these tattoos. Remember, it is always important to have an idea or purpose before selecting a design that will incorporate with your personality.