Coral Snake Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Coral Snake Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Snakes make for beautiful tattoos. With their sinuous grace and shiny scales, you also get to draw on distinctive colorations that tell a lot about a snake and as a result, can tell a lot about the person wearing one as skin art. In today’s article we’re going to explore a heavy-hitter in the snake world – the Coral Snake.

One of the most venomous snakes around, Coral snake tattoos have naturally been a skin art choice for a number of unique reasons and it’s not just about this creature’s poison. There’s quite a lot more than that – so read on and we’ll tell you why that’s the case with these beautiful snakes!


What is the History of Coral Snake Tattoos?

Coral snakes have long been a popular options when it comes to tattoos and serpents. Second only to the Black Mamba when it comes to the most venomous snakes in the world, Coral Snake tattoos not only show you a dangerous animal but quite a colorful one.

That’s because Coral snakes get their name from their colorations, which have red and yellow banding together that is a sure sign that whoever sees this snake should quickly get away. It’s such a primal and successful warning, that other snakes in Nature have the suspicious advantage of similar coloration that keeps predators away.

The classic rhyme to tell them apart is ‘Red and yellow – kill a fellow, but red and black are a friend to Jack’. This seems quite useful to know as you can find Coral snakes in Asia and the United States, but unfortunately that famous rhyme won’t help you everywhere – coloration varies a little once you get global.

As a tattoo subject, ‘2nd most venomous’ is definitely dangerous enough, and with such vibrant colors you have a chance to deliver a deadly message in a beautiful way – and who doesn’t like that in their skin art?!


What Do Coral Snake Tattoos Symbolize?

Coral snake tattoos symbolize a message about the mix of beauty and deadliness – typically as embodied in the owner. With their bright red and yellow colors, the Coral Snake warms those who come near that that it is deadly, but it’s quite interesting in that this is a ‘word of mouth’ sort of thing.

After all, the red, yellow, and black are quite pretty on the snake, but local predators quickly learn to steer clear of them, and this even makes snakes that look remotely close to the Coral snake much safer than they would be otherwise.

Thus, the symbolism is broadened ever more, with Coral snake tattoos also saying that ‘while others appear dangerous, they are nothing compared to me’.  Just a little remind from Nature that beauty is definitely not a weakness, nor an invitation, but more often than not it is a trick that has doomed many who came before!


What Do Coral Snake Tattoos Mean?

Coral snake tattoos typically mean beauty and strength and are meant to express the warning that their owner is not one to be trifled with. They basically say that the person who has chosen to wear this skin art has a reputation when it comes to their ‘bite’ and not only that, but it’s well-earned!

That doesn’t mean that the owner is necessarily a killing machine, however, as statistics tell us that despite these snakes being highly toxic, only one death in the United States from their venom has been recorded in the last 40 years.

This seems to tell us that the snake isn’t going out of its way to poison people, and while you might think that these statistics come from antivenin being an option, you’d be mistaken – without it, 10% of those bitten might actually die in a one-year period.

This means that Coral snake tattoos can represent someone with a reputation for fierceness, but powerful reserves of self-control.

Finally, sometimes Coral snakes tattoos are chosen simply for their beauty or as a way of showing appreciation for yet another lovely and amazing creature that Nature has given our world.


Where Do Coral Snake Tattoos Usually Go?

Most often, Coral snake tattoos are placed on the forearm, so that their message is loud and clear – beware of owner, as it were!

The upper arm is also popular, and some even prefer a more intimate placement, such as the hip or the ankle, so that the message of the tattoo is only there for the select few privileged enough to get to see it.

If you really like these snakes, you could also make a truly colorful and beautiful backpiece by using one in a natural setting or even many Coral snakes in one place – it really boils down to your reasons for getting the tattoo.

Needless to say, with such colors and curves, Coral snake tattoos can certainly be jaw-droppingly beautiful if you’ve got a good design and the patience to make it permanent.


Characteristics and Styles of Coral Snake Tattoos

A lot will depend on the message, but most commonly these snakes are depicted on the move, with multiple curved through the full length of the snake as if it is moving forward or even encircling the arm. If you are trying to communicate that you’re deadly to everyone – including yourself – then it might be biting it’s own tail!

Numerous styles are a good fit for the beautiful Coral snake. Watercolor tattoo art, for instance, can really create some breathtaking skin art, or you could go with photorealistic styles if you’ve got the patience and are lucky enough to have an amazing tattoo artist at your disposal.

Due to the fact the recognition relies on color, we haven’t seen any black and white coral snake tattoos, though you could actually do this with the clever trick or labelling the colors with their names. ‘Red’ and ‘yellow’ written plainly on the banding would do it, but while that’s a neat trick, you’d miss out on some fantastic color.

It’s something to think on but we highly recommend that you go with a style that is geared for color – it’s so rare that one gets a chance to display this kind of natural beauty!

Some closing words

While they can be worn as a warning, Coral snakes aren’t quite the killers that everyone seems to imagine, and this is wonderful from a skin art perspective. Someone who is deadly, but chooses to keep that option to themselves unless it’s absolutely necessary would also be well represented by wearing this snake.

It’s one of the cool things about Coral snake tattoos and tattoo-symbolism in general – while beauty is only ‘skin deep’, the meaning can really have some serious layers to it and that’s what makes your designs so memorable and unique!

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