Mermaid tattoos. 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 stems from 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.
75 Mermaid Tattoos:
This is a cute little bunch of themed tattoos on the sides of the fingers. Usually finger tattoos are placed on the knuckles like those seen here. These tiny little black tattoos are all nautical images, starting with a wave, a mermaid, a conch shell and ending with a seahorse.
74. Classical colors
Mermaid tattoos can come in all sorts of styles and color schemes. This one features the traditional mermaid beauty perched on her rock, checking herself out in the mirror. What really makes this one stand out is the use of the colors to make it almost shimmer. It looks as though it’s been peppered with glitter.
73. Big Eyed
This is a unique take on the mermaid in that it is not the typical beauty queen looking fish lady. This one has an unusually shaped head and body, but I think that is a stylistic preference. The waves in this one are a sea green, perhaps to differentiate it from the sky?
72. Floating Beauty
This lovely piece seems as though she is suspended in the water, just floating. I love how the hair and parts of the tail fins fan out, giving it a look of movement and the meticulous detail in this one is simply awesome. A nice little added feature is that of the bubbles. Mermaid tattoos are great for placement on the bicep area because the bigger they are, the more detailed they can be. The use of complementary reds and greens is another nice aspect of this tattoo.
Zombie popularity has been on the rise lately. What better way to incorporate your love of zombies with your love of mermaids than to make this pretty little beast into a shredded bloody monster? This piece shows a twisted look for Disney’s Ariel, depicting her eating her fish friend Flounder. I mean, that probably did happen right? A girls got to eat.
70. Teal Mermaid Tattoos
Bright colors work so well on mermaid tattoos because of the scales and the mystical quality of the creature itself. Mermaids are, basically, imaginary and can be made to look however the wearer wants them too. This person is obviously really into the color teal, which actually works out quite nicely with the mermaid theme. It is clearly an unfinished piece, I would love to see how the hair ends up looking and what other little touches are added.
Due to their nautical nature, mermaid tattoos work well on men and women both. The versatile design and options out there make it possible to take the mermaid from cartoonish to something altogether awesome like this half sleeve of a pirate ship. The mermaid rests down by the elbow, again sitting on her rock as the waves crash over. The ship in the background is amazing and the color and depth of this piece are unreal.
68. Traditional Samoan
This mermaid has a tail that is unlike any I have seen before. Most opt for the more traditional scales on the tail, but this piece goes above and beyond by mixing a traditional style for the mermaids body, but a Samoan patterned tail. For more details about Samoan tattoos, check out this link.
For a look at what a real mermaid would possibly look like in her natural habitat, check out this cool photo-realistic tattoo. This mermaid floats near the ocean floor and is surrounded by the plants, fish and other creatures that would naturally be present in this environment. The turtle is especially realistic looking. This mermaid eschews the traditional seashell bikini top in favor of a more natural look, and it all makes up one amazing leg piece.
66. Traditional Sea Fare
Traditional style seems to have been made for mermaid tattoos. This sleek design incorporates some of the best mermaid and nautical images out there. The entire thing is encompassed in a rope like mirror, with the mermaid herself clinging to the side. Inside the mirror, the roiling ocean and the masts of a ship can be seen. Everything from the flower in her hair to the red in her tail fins really make this beauty stand out. I bet she won’t be judged on her blue eye shadow either.
65. Fish Lady
The beauty of the mermaid tattoos is that they need not portray even the entire mermaid. Just a hint of mermaid can be seen in this one, with the scales on the waist line and the arms forming into fins. What makes this one amazing is the beautiful face and use of colors. She does look as though we are seeing her through the water, and the colors reflected shimmer of her skin in wonderful ways.
64. Music of the Sea
While clearly unfinished, the sheer size of this one is one reason for its inclusion. the blue background is beautifully done and I love the swirling bits of water around her. The shading and colors are great, even if they don’t quite cover up the piece underneath. Maybe the finished product will cover a bit better. Music is incorporated in this one as well, because, in my opinion, music goes with everything. Look here for more great music note tattoos.
63. Sailor Fish
Why does she have a skull? Did she take out a pirate? She has succeeded in crashing their ship and now wears his hat as a trophy. Or maybe my imagination has gotten the best of me. Two things I like about this piece are the pretty wrap around clothing covering her mammories and the cool added fins on the tail. Both are nice touches you don’t see in many mermaids. This one also uses darker colors and isn’t as vibrant and whimsical as some of the others.
Colors everywhere! I love that about mermaid tattoos. This one depicts a beautiful mermaid and a beautifully rendered seahorse. I like that this one utilizes the whole shoulder area, spreading out in an opposite way to most mermaids. The rainbow colors in her hair are also really cool, without being too overly bright.
61. Rainbow Watercolors
Most mermaid tattoos have two things in common; lots of color and lots of detail. It is possible to get away from one or the other and still make an incredibly well done mermaid tattoo. This one features the bright colors without all the lined out detail. This is a bit of an abstract take on the mermaid, but I love it so very much.
60. It’s Whats Inside That Counts
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Skulls and bones are a staple in nautical imagery. This is a fun little piece, if a bit anatomically incorrect (pretty sure octopi are mostly boneless, I could be wrong). The tattoo is interesting though, in that all the ‘living’ creatures in it are reduced to their skeletal form. It gives this one a eerie yet fun look. I also love that she still has her sea shells on. For some reason that just cracks me up!
59. Ariel Mermaid Tattoos
When doing any work involving mermaids, the topic of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is bound to come up. This is where she rears her head in this post. It is a beautifully done rendition of our little Ariel coming out of the water to see whats going on in our world. For more really cute Disney inspired tattoos, click here.
I love love love tattoos like this. I just enjoy the simple, solid, beautifully done, thin line work and the color that refuses to stay inside. This is a simple minimal tattoo but it has a profound effect. The colors are beautiful, giving it that otherworldly fantasy feel that a mermaid tattoo deserves. This is just a brilliantly done piece.
This may be a testament to unregulated fishing in our oceans, or it may just be a fun joke piece. Either way, the idea of the mermaid in the sardine can is a strange one. I love the traditional super old school style of it though and the dark colors fit the dark nature of the image.
56. Shadow Swimmer
This is another look at a low color version of the mermaid tattoos. This one has the mermaid in a kind of a shadow, surrounded by splashes of color. It is placed on the ankle and the mermaid seems to be swimming away. I’m torn on whether I like this one or not, but that’s just my opinion.
55. Fire Dancer
In a twist, this mermaid seems to be more of a fire dancer than a water dancer. She is done in full color in a really cool abstract design. She actually looks like a painting taken right off a canvas. The multiple colors all combine to make a really intriguing piece and the wavy brush stroke design is just magnificent.
Not all mermaid tattoos need to depict the sex goddess style mermaids. This cute piece shows a mother and daughter mermaid giving each other a cute little peck on the lips. You don’t often see baby mermaids depicted, but this one is simply adorable. I love the bit of fin or gills behind the ears and the simplicity of this one shows nothing but the love of a mother for her daughter.
In an effort at a throwback, this one is done in traditional pin-up style but does not depict a typical pin-up girl. This shows a mermaid that is part shark instead of part fish. For all intents and purposes, this might me a really accurate depiction of the mermaid. This one also differs in that the tail doesn’t start at the waist like the majority of depicted mermaids. This one starts lower on the thighs. I’m not sure I agree with the placement of all the fins, but this is definitely an original piece.
This sad looking lady is done in mostly runny greens and yellows. I like that the tail scales are done in dots instead of lined out scales like most. The colors are nice, though it does look as though she was the victim of an unfortunate paintball attack. I love the pose of this one most of all, she looks almost sad, turned away from the world.
51. Tribal Style
Each culture has their own version of the mermaid legend, therefore each culture is able to have a different style of mermaid tattoos. This one is done in the dark, swirling tribal style. It is an interesting look for the mighty mermaid.
50. Super Detail
This is a highly detailed piece of art. This mermaid herself is fantastically rendered, but once you get to her tail, the whole thing is just magnificent to behold. There is so much to see, fish, treasure chests, her curling tail, the sea urchins and bubbles. It makes one engaging piece. If you look closely you will also see the ship in the background, also wonderfully detailed. This is just an amazing piece, place wonderfully on the thigh. For more sexy thigh pieces, click this.
Not all mermaid tattoos need to depict women it seems. Here is a cat who looks perfectly at home in the water, and a fish that looks a little terrified. This one has a bit of an Asian design to it, and I really like the contrast of the part cat part fish. It is interesting and silly.
Usually one would find the mermaid inside the ocean and not the ocean inside the mermaid, but still I think this is a really cool piece. It depicts more of the inner mermaid, and a distinct love for the water. The swirling waves are captured neatly in the silhouette.
47. Highly Illustrated
The illustrations and colors on this make it have an anime kind of feel to it. The large eyes and the bright colors are so pretty here. Even the fish manages to look both realistic and like a cartoon. It is a fun take on the mermaid.
46. Dotted Diver
Pointillism seemed, at one time, to be a lost art, but I have seen it coming out a lot more in tattoos. I really like the effect of the dotted design. I imagine it would be much harder to do than just shading, but the finished product is beautiful. This mermaid is depicted diving, which is also different from most traditional mermaid designs.
45. Classic Black
This is another of those simple, black, traditional styled tattoos. The design is not at all complex. I do not understand the eye in the tail. At least I hope it’s supposed to be an eye.
44. Chunky Baby
This classically styled piece features a lot of colors that make it pop. This is a mermaid who is clearly proud of her tuna. It is rare to see a full bodied mermaid with curves and an actual waist, but given her excitement at having caught the tuna, it’s no surprise this girl likes to eat!
43. Head of Flame
A lot of mermaid tattoos depict red headed women. I wonder if that is because of Disney’s influence for just because the red stands out well against the blue background of the deep sea. This particular ginger beauty is posed in a very artistic way, much like the subject of many classic art pieces. Her tail begins at the thighs and gives the illusion of her legs actually being fused together instead of just all of a sudden having a tail. It’s almost an evolutionary piece.
42. Toony Time
Unique mermaids are not hard to come by. This one covers the inside of the bicep and has a really peculiar design to it. The head and features are over sized, and I find that a little distracting. It kind of takes away from the whole piece really.
41. Whale Woman
Mermaid tattoos offer a chance for creativity in all forms. This piece, which seems to be part of a nautical theme on the arm, show the mermaid either lounging on the whale, catching a ride, or becoming part of the whale. It is really hard to tell which. I have noted that most of the mermaid tattoos on men seem to be either devoid of color or ultra-realistic looking. It’s as if the fantasy colors are too feminine for these fellas.
In a fine portrayal of a mermaid, this back piece uses some traditional yet unique elements. The lady depicted does not clearly have a tail, but she is definitely part fish. She has scales on her face and neck, as well as enormous fins on her ears. I also love that she seems to be dressed more regally than most portrayed mer-ladies. She could almost be some kind of maritime royalty.
39. Siamese Twins
It appears as though mer-folk are not immune to the same physical abnormalities of their human counterparts. This black and white bit of ink shows a two headed mer-baby, connected at the rib cage. I like the design of this simply because it is different. What a unique idea, even the little fish bones in tail are fun pieces.
38. Oodles of Doodles
Doodled mermaid tattoos like this one are fun. This picture doesn’t do it much justice, but the colors that change throughout different elements of the body and the different abstract/tribal art make for a pretty little mermaid piece.
Remember Ursula from The Little Mermaid? That’s right, the gruesome baddie that was part person, part octopus and ALL woman. This green monster is wearing a brilliant blue headdress (where the heck did she find a bird underwater??) and some pearl jewels. Her tail splits off, not really into eight parts, but it is not the usual mermaid tail we expect to see. No dolphin tail for this girl. The suctioned tentacles probably come in way more useful anyway.
Mermaids masquerading as humans is a possibility. The scales are hidden under the skin, just waiting for a chance to break free and get back to the water. I like this one in particular because it shows the skin ripping away, showing the scales underneath. It is a really nicely done piece and has a pretty unique feel to it.
35. Anchors Away
Anchor tattoos are depicted a lot, and for many reasons. They are nautical, for one, which is one of the reasons they go so well with mermaid tattoos like this one. The simple no color look of the anchor and mermaid together is plenty to make it stand out. It looks like there may be some white ink in there as well to give it some depth. The scales are done in such a way as to really stand out and have that slick, scaly look to them. The mermaid has a cautious but curious look on her face, which I really like, it makes her look more human.
If you are a Disney fan, chances are you have a favorite movie. If that favorite move happens to feature a teenage mermaid and her adventure to find love, you may find yourself willing to ink an incredible scene on your body. This back piece has all the greatest elements from the Little Mermaid, including the castle and the Evil Ursula with her pets Flotsam and Jetsam. However, take a peek at behind the statue of Prince Eric and you may find a little hidden crossover, which is actually pretty common in Disney films. You can clearly see Dori and Nemo from Finding Nemo hanging out with Ariel and her crew.
33. Mermaids in Real Life
This piece must have take ages to complete. I think it was time well spent though, because this is AMAZING. The pastel colors alternating down the legs gives it a luminescent feel. The fins added break up the scales a little bit and give the eye something more to look at. In short, I love the colors, I love the concept, I love these legs.
32. Swim Away
Mermaid tattoos look so great on the thigh, no matter what design in chosen. The size of that particular bit of skin canvas give you plenty of room to play around and get the perfect design. This mermaid is incredibly well rendered, with a realistic body shape. I really dig how the colors on the tail are separate, with green for the scales and red for the fins. This is also a dark haired mermaid, which is a bit different from most.
31. Riding the Ribs
From what I hear, tattoos on the ribs are incredibly painful. If that is the case, then this woman is a champ. This piece is large and beautiful. Running from just under the bra line to the hip, this mermaid, with her soft colors and features, is a really feminine piece. I love the size of it and the bit of mischief on her face. The little sly smile tells the whole story. If you think you have what it takes for a rib tattoo, check out the link.
This little mermaid is done without a lot of flash. She is simply designed yet pretty. I love the curly/wavy hair that floats around her head and body. She has a peaceful look, like there are no worries, just her and the sea.
29. Blonde Ambition
Blonde is a color rarely seen on mermaids. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it has to do with water damage? I don’t know. What I do know is that the lighter colors on the darker skinned mermaid work out really well. She doesn’t look washed out at all, which is a risk with the lighter colors and blonde hair. This one runs from the ankle to the top of the foot. This is becoming a popular place for tattoos for women. If you want some more ideas for great tattoos for women, you can refer to this article.
28. Ariel Outline
The popularity of the Little Mermaid just won’t quit, and with the plethora of creative folks out there, why should it? Here is a great piece of Ariel outlined in black. You can still tell it is here but without all the Disney colors and distractions. It’s just a really simple lined tattoo that looks really nice on the back of the shoulder.
27. Turning Mermaid
This one looks as though the scales are growing and slowly covering her leg instead of coming out from underneath the skin. Almost as though she is slowly turning into a mermaid one little scale at a time. I love the blue color and the shading of this piece. It is wonderfully done and not so overpowering, just a nice subtle tattoo.
26. Nautical Pin-up
One style that will never get old is that of the pin-up. Combine the pin-up with a mermaid design and an anchor, and you have a really cool traditional style tattoo. This is the way tattoos looked way back before they became mainstream and I really like it. The anchor is done in blacks and reds, saving the majority of the color for the mermaid herself.
25. Friends of Flounder
Ariel is here again, with her friend Flounder. She looks sad and reserved. Flounder is probably telling her to buck up and get back out there. This tattoo depicts friendship at its finest, two inseparable beings, sticking with each other through thick and thin. No matter what.
24. Sleeve Mermaid
Little Mermaid tattoos can be placed pretty much anywhere. Here is the whole cast of characters from the movie in one lovely sleeve piece. I love how there is so much blue in it. The details are a little less than perfect here, but the colors are so vibrant that it almost doesn’t matter. For more amazing sleeve tattoos, you should definitely check out this link.
23. Side Swept
Long large pieces like this mermaid here are so wonderfully portrayed on the side and down the ribs. There is a lot of canvas to work with in this area, and, if you can handle the pain, it makes for a really beautiful piece. The amount of detail that can be used on the rib area makes for more intricate tattoos. This mermaid is beautifully done up in greens and lays easily on the girls side. She is large and awesome, but also very feminine and pretty.
22. Waves on Scales
When it comes to scale tattoos, there are also a lot of options. We’ve see a few of the small colorful pieces, as well as an entire leg piece. These scales here start way higher on the body than the others, right at the waistline. The waves form the break between the human and the fish. Under the waves we can see the beginning of scales, this time in black and shades of grey. The allure of this one is that you can not tell how far the scales go, do they end there, or continue all the way down the thigh? Sometimes the little secrets are the most fun.
21. Above the Waves
This image is literally a fish out of water. This mermaid sits above the waves, windswept, and basking in the sun. She is settled next to some pretty pink flowers. The green of her tail is so vibrant and the little detail of the waves cascading over the tail is a nice little design. I especially like the look of the waves crashing around her.
20. Look Away
There seems to be an abundance of artwork that involves a mermaid looking away from us. Is that to hide the demon side? While one legend states that mermaids are incredibly beautiful, another states that their beauty is just a facade and they are really vile creatures whose sole purpose is death and destruction. A mermaid looking away, such as the one in the photo, could be enough to draw a ship near out of curiosity. It is an ingenious ploy.
Red is the dominant color in this piece. Large and colorful are the draws here. The tentacles in this are simply amazing and the detail is out of this world. The waves and the skin on the fish tail and tentacles are highly detailed, as is the snake hair on this mermaid. Her modesty is cute and gives her a coy look. She is definitely pin-up worthy. This may be the biggest piece on the list, but it is also one of the very best. A lot of love, time, and patience went into this wonderful work of art. For more cool octopus art, check out this page.
18. Undersea Mystery
Peeking out of the water, this sad mermaid looks on, perhaps as her love walks away up the beach. She is doomed to be a creature of the sea, with fish hooks and sea creatures in her hair. The look of her wild hair really stands out and she is perfectly placed on the middle of the upper back. She is absolutely beautiful, even in her sadness.
17. Mirror Mirror
Ariel may be Disney’s resident mermaid, but in this wonderful tattoo, I get the impression of Snow White in the mirror. This pale, raven haired beauty looks out from behind the glass at the world on the other side. It is done mainly in blues with other colors added near the top of the mirror, but the colors stay muted, which is what makes her face the focus of the whole piece.
Have you ever wished you could take back a decision you made? Done something you wish you could take back, but it was irreversible. That is what this high color tattoo is meant to represent. It is Ariel, again, but this time she is attempting to sew her legs back together, into the fins they ones were. The point is, sometimes it’s better to just be happy with what you have, because a rash decision may lead to a life you don’t want to live.
15. Lazy Lady
Koi fish are often used in large water based back pieces. Here the koi is replaced with a mermaid. She is laying down in the water, next to a large lotus flower. The only color in this work are the mermaid herself and the flower. It is a definite alteration of the traditional koi image but it makes for a really great tattoo.
Few mermaid tattoos go into such crazy detail for such a small mermaid. The moon here is large and full and makes a perfect backdrop for this incredible underwater scene. This could be a take on the Little Mermaid, with the red haired mermaid, the yellow and blue fish, and the octopus coming up out of the cave near the bottom. It blends the story with some real life aspects, and it is beautiful. The mermaid sits on her rock, dreaming about a life out of the water.
13. Beach Bunny
A huge underwater seascape is not necessary for an interesting and pretty mermaid tattoo. Here the mermaid is laying out, probably on a beach, just hanging out. It shows a different side of the mermaid and is actually pretty seductive.
12. Stylistic Story
Mermaid tattoos can have incredibly different aspects to them, each one is unique. This one shows the lead mermaid in the foreground, sitting just in front of a wrecked ship. In the background a castle can be seen as two other mermaids swim around it. What makes this one stand out is the artists individual style, it is like nothing we’ve seen yet.
11. Reach for the Stars
Mermaids seem to have races or cultures just like the humans, at least according to the tattoos. This one has seaweed like fins flowing from her tail and her arms. The placement of this one, on the front of the hip and stomach is really different and I, for one, really like it. For more stomach tattoos, click the link.
10. Mix and Match
Mermaid tattoos need not to be all undersea and fish. Here the mermaid is paired with a peacock. The feathers instead of fins is a really cool look, intriguing and unique, although probably useless for underwater navigation.
This mermaid seems to be doing a back flip and reaching out. It’s hard to tell if she is attempting to grab something or if she is trying to hold something back. Either way, the effect is cool and I really like the sketch like style.
Mermaids and snakes may not be the first pair you imagine when thinking of mermaids, but the pair can coexist in a very cool way. Here the mermaids scales are more snake scales than fish scales, with the diamondback design worked in. The snake coils around her neck, waist, and breast, covering her up, and giving the piece a nice bit of depth. This is another no color tattoo that stands out despite the lack of color.
This no color mermaid seems to be stretching towards the sky. There really isn’t much to this one, I just really like the picture and pose. I love how the scales continue up to her chest instead of a contrived seashell bra to cover her up.
6. Bye Bye Birdie
This poor mermaid seems to be watching the ship sail away. Maybe she is mourning a love lost. I love the way it’s framed!
5. Water Colors and Wind
Watercolor is really big in tattoos in recent years. It’s easy to see why, this is a wonderful example of the art.
4. A Pop of Color
This pencil drawing sketch effect on this tattoo is awesome. The little pops of color on the front make the grey scale drawing stand out even more, not the other way around. The colors are just bright enough to draw the eye and give it something interesting to look at.
3. Shadow Puppet
For some, a simple black fill in shadow like tattoo is just enough.
2. Hippie Skeleton
The love of the sixties really comes out in this one. The bright colors, long hair, and floral (shellfish) crown definitely give this skeletal gal a dead head look. She’s ready to rock.
This one is really beautiful. It has two girls, one sitting on an anchor, tying her to the sea, the other sitting with birds, free from the sea. I think it is a piece on duality. I love that the only color present is the bright red of the tails and on their cheeks.
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