Animal Tattoo Symbolism Around The World | Manifest Studio


Animal tattoos are one of the most popular choices around the world. Animal symbolism is often inspired by ancient cultures and has an incredible history. If you're looking for the perfect tattoo the next time you have a tattoo consultation, then you will be interested in this comprehensive guide to animal tattoo meanings, background, and of course, ideas! Let's begin. 

History Of Animal Tattoos

Animal tattoos have an incredible history. Let's take a brief look at the individual animal tattoo designs! 

It was believed that the earliest tattooed people in history were found in North Africa when archaeologists discovered two tattooed mummies. Moreover, they had tattoos depicting animals - a bull and a sheep. It might be an homage to their favorite animals or perhaps a symbol of a successful hunt. 

Human skin has been tattooed for millennia to convey various ontological, psychosocial, and sociocultural concepts, such as beauty, cultural identity, status, and protection.

Ancient Egyptian mummies were tattooed heavily with sacred symbols to advertise and enhance the religious powers of the women who received them. For example, the mummy's hips, arms and neck were often tattooed with lotus blossoms, cows and baboons. 

During the 19th century, the tattooing trend caught on among European socialites, royalty, and the working class. As a result, there are many standard designs, such as oriental motifs, swallows, anchors, travel memories, flowers, animals, and names.

Animals have long been among the most prevalent tattoos across all countries and cultures. So let's look at some popular animal tattoos and their meanings. 

Animal Tattoos and their Meanings


Whether you have a spirit animal, love animal tattoo symbolism, or feel that certain animals symbolize freedom, you have probably thought about getting an animal tattoo. On the other hand, maybe you've got one or two already and want to check on their real meaning. Whatever your reasons, here is our guide to animal tattoos and their meanings. 

Lion Tattoos

Lion tattoos are most commonly seen as a symbol of strength. Symbolizing strength, power, masculinity, and leadership, the lion is a powerful animal. As a result, humans have feared and admired the lion for thousands of years. Because lions live in the jungle, they are fearless, so many people respect them for their courage, power, and fearlessness.

Wolf Tattoos


There has always been a great deal of respect for wolves throughout history. It has a high level of intelligence and resilience. Historically, ancient civilizations regarded the wolf as a symbol of divinity, spirituality, and rebirth. Unfortunately, the negative traits of wolves are often accompanied by such interpretations today. In many cultures, wolves are often associated with death, destruction, and danger.

Fish Tattoos

Japanese Koi fish tattoos are among the most popular fish tattoo designs. The fish is symbolic of many things, including overcoming obstacles and struggles in life. A fish's size and color can carry different meanings and symbolisms, depending on size and color.

In addition to power and love, the koi fish symbolizes motherhood when red. On the other hand, the white version symbolizes success, rebirth, and its capacity to transform. Finally, black or blue koi fish represent masculinity and one's ability to triumph over struggle and overcome life's challenges. 

Cat Tattoos

In general, cats symbolize rebirth, new life, pride, and royalty. Ancient Egyptians treated cats like deities because of their nine and nine lives. However, depending on the breed or color of the cat, the cat can symbolize many different things today.

Butterfly Tattoos

Caterpillars grow into butterflies. During this process, they become these incredibly unique and beautiful creatures. The butterfly symbolizes transformation, growth, and being a free spirit. In general, butterfly tattoos convey the same meaning.

Snake Tattoos


The snake symbolizes personal transformation and the ability to change for the better because it sheds its skin. Therefore, snake tattoos have to come to represent this transformation. However, there is also the connotation of being dangerous and unpredictable. 

Panda Tattoos

As an animal characteristic of the Far East, pandas also carry a meaning derived from Far Eastern cultures. For example, pandas symbolize prosperity and good fortune in ancient China; this symbolism persists today.

Owl Tattoos

Since ancient times, owls have been revered as sacred guardians of wisdom and knowledge. Aside from being birds, owls are also seen as mythological guardians and protectors in modern culture. Books and movies have used them to represent knowledge, wisdom, or messengers. In addition, it is often believed that owls represent nocturnality, mystery, and even the supernatural.

Deer Tattoos

Native Americans revere the deer as a powerful symbol. Due to their sensitivity, intuition, and gentleness, Native Americans loved deers. In addition, deer are incredibly compassionate, empathic, and take great care of their families. The deer's symbolism is healing and beautiful, so it is easy to see why people get them tattooed.

Fox Tattoos

Despite their reputation as cunning and nasty creatures, foxes are highly intelligent and resilient. As a symbol of guidance, ancient peoples believed foxes to be extremely wise. Others also considered that foxes could capture the souls of the dead.

Crow Tattoos

In reality, crows are extremely intelligent and resourceful. Their memory is excellent, and they can recognize and remember people. As a result, crows are often regarded as symbols of wealth, success, and health. As a result of people's association with crows with mystery, magic, and good fortune, more and more crow tattoos are appearing.

Elephant Tattoos

The elephant tattoo has become a popular design, which would seem unbelievable to many people. But, increasingly, people are becoming aware of the significance and symbolism of these gentle giants. The elephant is a very emotional and gentle animal. A family ring symbolizes love, loyalty, and the ability to care for the people who matter most to you.

In closing, understanding animal symbolism is a significant first step to getting an animal tattoo. After all, animal symbolism is a sacred and powerful force that can be healing, energizing and perhaps even inspiring! If you are looking for the best tattoo shop, check Manifest studio to see  what designs  of animal tattoos they have to offer.

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