The skull is one of the most basic symbols that humans are hardwired to recognize. Humans can see faces in even small patterns of similar design, like simple shapes in nature. The human skull is a shape that not only connects instantly to human recognition, but it exemplifies death and peace all at once.
The skull is often thought of as a symbol of mortality amongst the cultures of the world.
Those large eye sockets staring with an empty hollowness remind people of the fragile nature of life. The skull is used in symbolism throughout literature, including the works of Shakespeare and many other prominent authors and poets. It is used to bring about themes of death, inevitability, and the cycle of life.
Religious art is famous for using skulls as a symbol of eternity and vanity. The idea behind these themes is that people should remain pure in order to avoid the decay associated with damnation. That’s one of the main reasons skeletons are always portrayed in hellish scenes of the underworld.
A skull tattoo represents the idea that life is temporary and precious. It could come from many inspirations, but the idea of mortality is central to all of those sources. In modern representations, the skull is seen in movies, video games, and all sorts of popular culture segments.