31 Mermaid Tattoos to Fuel Your Obsession

When you were a child, did you ever wish you could turn into a mermaid? A dip in the ocean with friends made it easy to imagine what life would be like with a tail instead of feet. While you can't exactly make that fantastical siren wish come true in the way your childhood self would hope, you do have a fun, more mature alternative. Enter: mermaid tattoos. After all, getting permanent ink is a cool way to express yourself and your individuality.

Traditional mermaid tattoos date back to the early 1900s. They were a very popular symbol among sailors and the sailing community, commemorating belonging. Mermaid tattoos also signify independence, magic, freedom, the ocean, and sexuality. The colorful siren design holds a lot of meaning, and you can choose to incorporate a special message in your own tattoo. There is no shortage of mermaid tattoo designs on Instagram to look to for inspiration, from minimal, fine-line designs to bold, realistic tattoos. They also vary in size, from small pieces to large-scale works of art. It can be a lot of fun finding the right motif to fit your style.

Fuel your obsession, and make your love for mermaids permanent with a new tattoo. Whether you're searching for the perfect Little Mermaid tattoo or you've got your eye set on a simple mermaid design, we've rounded up 31 of the best options to get you started ahead.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Realistic Mermaid

This realistic mermaid tattoo features a beautiful siren with lots of dark detailing.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Mermaid on a Swing

Who said mermaids need to be swimming?

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Tail

If you don't want an entire mermaid tattoo, you can opt for just the colorful tail.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Seashells

Another minimalist tattoo approach, this fine-line tattoo features small seashells and tiny oysters.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Zodiac

A fun way to put a twist on your mermaid tattoo is to incorporate your zodiac sign into it, like this Capricorn did.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Marble Mermaid

For the minimalist, this is a subtle, fine-line mermaid tattoo with a marble-patterned tail.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Traditional Mermaid

This traditional mermaid tattoo has blue eyeshadow to match her tail.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Colorful Tail

Another variation on the tail tattoo, this colorful design features a small anchor, seashell, and starfish.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Watercolor Mermaid

This watercolor mermaid tattoo features a mermaid and a human swimming parallel in a beautiful sea of colors.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Cartoon Mermaid

This tattoo design features a cartoon-like mermaid holding a skull.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Fairy

This realistic tattoo morphs a mermaid with a fairy for a magical twist.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Singular Seashell

If you aren't finding a mermaid tattoo that suits you, a small seashell can also represent your love for the creature as a small mermaid tattoo.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Mermaid Silhouette

This fine-line tattoo is on the smaller side with less detailing and more emphasis on the silhouette of the mermaid and it makes the perfect little mermaid tattoo.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Blue-Haired Mermaid

For a pop of color, this black-and-white small mermaid tattoo has a bright shock of blue in her hair.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Bold Mermaid

For a bold, colorful look, this mermaid tattoo takes inspiration from a fairy aesthetic and koi fish.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Starfish and Seashell

Another option is to get a couple of simple seashells and starfish designs.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Mermaid Outline

This modern take on a mermaid tattoo uses simple line work to create the shape of a sea creature.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Pastel Mermaid Tail

This pastel mermaid tail is colored light purple and pink with blue star and bubble accents and makes such a cute small mermaid tattoo.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Large Mermaid Tattoo

This magical piece combines line work with shading for a design that's a cross between traditional and modern. It's a simple mermaid tattoo but large and beautiful.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Conch Shell

This conch shell design features small, colorful stars framing it.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: "The Little Mermaid"

For a timeless design, try something like this "The Little Mermaid" tattoo of Princess Ariel's silhouette.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Bright Mermaid

This artistic mermaid tattoo plays with the bright colors on the tail and also features a bit of landscape in the background.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Single Needle Mermaid

This arm piece is stunning and features realistic detailing in the mermaid's hair and tail done with a single needle tattoo gun. The stars and small fish add to the stunning artwork.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Mermaid and Conch Shell

This detailed tattoo features a beautiful mermaid playing a conch shell.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Mermaid Playing Harp

This colorful piece resembles a more traditional mermaid-tattoo design.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Ariel

This colorful large mermaid tattoo features Ariel from "The Little Mermaid."

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Mermaid Scales

If you want a different approach, why not become a mermaid yourself? These colorful mermaid scales make such a stunning tattoo.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas: Shell With Pearl

We love the look of this simple mermaid tattoo that features a shell with a pearl. It's mermaid-inspired and gorgeous.