The crab tattoo is rarer for in-landers but is very common for people living near the coasts. The crab has many meanings and the symbolism can be different for everyone.
The crab is a powerful symbol of wealth, renewal and adventures of the sea.
It has lunar connections which defines its symbol of renewal; as the moon changes, everything can be reborn. The crab shedding its shell is parallel to the moon’s own lunar phases: giving way to one phase only to start another. The zodiac sign, Cancer (the crab), adds additional meaning. Cancers tend to be loyal, contradictory and moody, which is why Cancer is known as the “moon sign”.
In China, the crab is seen as good luck and is a symbol of masculine potency. Traditionally, the Chinese believed that eating crab would create more virile semen in a man.
The crab is also a symbol of protection with its hard exterior shell, and a fighter with its dangerous pincers. This is a good reason why the crab tends to be the token tattoo chosen by sailors or fisherman. Life on the water is hard so you must be hard to survive it, just like the crab.
No matter the reason, a crab tattoo can hold so much meaning to the person displaying it. Whether it’s to represent your life on the water, your masculinity, or a rebirth you have experienced, the crab is a great option to make a permanent part of your body.