Arguably one of the strangest (albeit diminutive) creatures of the deep, the seahorse makes up for size and strangeness with its remarkable history and cultural, as well as spiritual, symbolism, to say nothing of its infinite eye-appeal as a tattoo subject.
First appearing in ancient Greek, Roman, and Eastern mythology, the seahorse can still be seen in excavated tombs, frescoes, and personal effects.
Believed to transport nautical gods and the souls of unfortunate sailors, the seahorse is a diligent creature who answers to the call of duty, be it mortal or otherworldly. On a more personal level, many believe the seahorse to represent divine fatherhood, due to the incubation of seahorse eggs by the male, rather than the female.
Like so many of life’s greatest wonders, the seahorse often goes unnoticed or regarded as a casual curiosity of the sea. Those who select a seahorse for a tattoo are able to glimpse a little deeper and dive beyond the shallows of general perception. They, like the seahorse, are quiet, hardworking souls who go (or rather, swim) about their business with minimal fuss or fanfare. And yet, they are unmistakable in the impression they make, both physical and practical. Once you’ve been introduced to the seahorse, you never forget it.