You’ve seen the shells of the chambered Nautilus before but you might not have known the name. Often referred to as ‘living fossils’, those perfect spiral shells have not changed much in 450 million years. So, what do they mean?
In today’s article we’re going to talk about Nautilus tattoos, delving into their history, meanings, and even some potential designs. This will help you to learn a little about the symbolism behind these ancient creatures and perhaps inspire you to make the perfect Nautilus tattoo for you!
Let’s start with their history and we’ll build up from there!
What is the History of Nautilus Tattoos?
The Nautilus is just about the perfect design for a creature and if you don’t believe us on that, you can take it up with evolution. For 450 million years it’s remained virtually unchanged and to better understand why, you should know a little about the creature itself.
Somewhere between a squid and an octopus (it is related to both), the young Nautilus starts off with a much smaller home that the ones that you’ve seen. It’s got only 4 chambers to work with, but as it easts and grows it will continue to build more.
That perfect spiral pattern that it builds is built in accordance with a mathematical principle known as the ‘golden ratio’ and it will build up to 30 chambers in it’s lifetime as it slowly outgrows them These chambers aren’t wasted, either. The Nautilus will fill them with gas or drain gas from them, allowing it to rise or fall as-needed.
That ‘Golden ratio’ we mentioned is considered ‘Sacred Geometry’, in that you find it in some form or fashion throughout nature, from the shape of certain veggies, to the arrangement of seeds, and even the form of the Milky Way galaxy. The Nautilus is nothing short of amazing in this fashion and definitely worthy of the skin art it inspires.
What Do Nautilus Tattoos Symbolize?
Nautilus tattoos have lots of symbolism behind them, mostly because they are incredibly ancient, and they been around for 440 or so million years longer than we have. As the creatures build an elaborate and perfect shell as-needed, one of the most popular symbolisms is that they represent our ambition and the payoff.
By working hard, first at survival, and then at thriving in it’s world, the Nautilus creates a beautiful home for itself and gradually rises in power, constantly recreating it’s home and it’s self in the process. With it’s ties to the Golden Ratio, it also represent the mysteries of nature.
The Golden Ratio is a number that you’ll arrive at when you take a Fibonacci sequence of number and divide each one by the number that came before it and we can’t emphasize this enough – you’ll find this number in everything that lives. The Golden Ratio shows up when you study skeletons, shells, and even limb proportions.
This means that Nautilus tattoos represent not just a pretty shell from an ancient creature, but the mysteries of not only carbon-based life, but the shapes of galaxies and more. The math is there to prove it – the Nautilus is not just a symbol, it’s the mathematical map of life itself!
What Do Nautilus Tattoos Mean?
The meaning of Nautilus tattoos is going to be up to their individual owners, but we can tell you some common reasons why people choose this tattoos. Some pick the Nautilus for the Sacred Geometry behind it, as you’d be hard put to find such a perfect example that there is a ‘plan’ that Nature has for us.
For others, Nautilus tattoos might be worn to symbolize a love of the sea, while those with ambition might wear these beautiful shells as a way to represent that better things are waiting in the future, for those who have the strength to work hard and to build something solid from their labors.
Whether or not the creature itself it present can also affect the meaning. An empty shell could represent a formerly grand life which is no longer accessible, while a living Nautilus with a large shell could represent hard work and success.
Think on what it is specifically that appeals and applies to you the most and the perfect design will be a simple ‘eureka’ moment away!
Characteristics and Styles of Nautilus Tattoos
As far as styles, the shell will always have the mathematical perfection that it enjoys, but you can certainly display it in many different ways. It could be a collection of black and white segments, creating the whole, for instance, or you could display it in a photorealistic fashion to capture its natural beauty.
With a fun style like New School, you could depict something strange living in the shell, or even play with the color scheme to make it more personal. With Japanese style, it could make an elegant backpiece that’s jaw-dropping in its aesthetics and mathematical perfection.
Give it a bit of thought – you’ve got a lot of possibilities with Nautilus tattoos!
Where Do Nautilus Tattoos Usually Go?
One of the most popular placements for Nautilus tattoos is the back. This is because its natural design is already quite beautiful and the back offers the most space to take advantage of this. That said you don’t need to take up your entire back with a Nautilus.
Even a small, stylized shell on your outer or upper arm will say everything that you need, and you might even put it on your hip if the symbolism of this creature is very deep and personal to you.
Once you know the design, don’t worry too much – the perfect place to show it will soon come to you!
Some closing comments on Nautilus Tattoos
When it comes to ancient symbols of power, the Nautilus is just about as ancient as it gets. Symbolizing things like ambition, hard work, mindful thinking, and even the seeds and patterns of life itself, it’s quite the powerful skin art choice indeed.
Take a peek at some of the shells and the creature itself to really get a feel for it. This might just be the perfect first or next tattoo for you!