Mythical creatures have been a source of fascination for centuries, and many people choose to commemorate them with tattoos. Popular mythical creature tattoos include Japanese dragons (Ryu) and the Japanese yōkai Tsuchigumo.
Are you looking for a truly epic tattoo design? Something fantastical, mythical, and just pure whimsical? You can wear your favorite Greek mythology tale and invite the world of imagination to your body canvas, or opt for the magic of Irish folklore with a Leprechaun tattoo. Whether the following creatures are just legends and lore or have some historical clout about them, there is no denying the appeal of their magic, even if it’s only in fairy tales.
Your unicorn does not have to get away. In an animal totem state, the unicorn strengthens intuition, whereas unicorn blood and tears are believed to have mystical healing powers. You can capture the magic of the horned horse with your very own unicorn tattoo. Unicorns are usually white in color and have a golden spiral horn emerging from the top of their forehead right between their eyes. For childhood, my inspiration rent the classic movie, The Last Unicorn.
If you have a passion for Greek Mythology, you may already know the story of the flying Pegasus horse, who was created once Perseus chopped off the head of Medusa in a heroic battle against the underworld. The Pegasus is also known for delivering thunder and lightning to Mount Olympus after making its solo flight to Zeus. Placed on your back, shoulder, or thighs, a Pegasus trumps the unicorn when it comes to classic movies. Be sure to check out Clash of the Titans and watch the King of Horses fly.
You’ve likely heard the phrase “When pigs fly,” which basically means never. If you’ve overcome obstacles that were stacked high against you, or if you believe in dreams that some would dare to say are too big, maybe it’s time to tattoo a swine in flight and prove that even pigs can get their wings.
Way out yonder in Blarney Castle, you may find yourself so lucky to discover a pot of gold, or better yet, a little leprechaun willing to grant you three wishes of your heart’s desire if you’ll bargain their release.
Deemed “Not quite wholly good and not quite whooly bad,” Leprechauns can be quite dangerous and fearless. Not only are they a unique choice for an Irish or Saint Patrick’s Day tattoo design, they are fitting for any shoemaker or craftsman by trade, as a Leprechaun’s main occupation besides granting wishes is to make and mend footwear. Sounds like a dreamy fit for a lady!
Mermaids are racy and feminine creatures who live in the ocean. Half naked and donning a fishtail, they have usually depicted grooming in vain while waiting to lore a sailor to his fate, wrecking ships in the night when the temptation proves so great that man must follow her far out to the depths of the sea, to heed her siren song. Mermaid tattoos are considered an Old School design and can be tattooed with classic stylings or made much more fantastical with a modern Realism technique.
Dragons are a fiery force worn to depict power, strength, creativity, and confidence. Whether you are born under Chinese Astrology as the Year of the Dragon or simply love the message these great and fearful creatures breathe, a fire-casting dragon looks right at home on the leg, forearm, shoulder, upper back, and chest. Dragons make an exotic and mythical tattoo designs on both men and women.
When considering a mythical creature tattoo, be sure to research the mythical creature tattoo meanings behind the design. For example, unicorns represent innocence, while dragons symbolize power and wisdom. Understanding the mythology behind these mythical creatures can help you choose a design that resonates with you on a deeper level.
Tattoos & Body Piercings Expert, Contributor
Tattoos & Body Piercings Expert Julian is a freelance tattoo writer, beauty expert, traveler, and photographer. Her passion for body art over the past 7 years led to one of the internet's greatest websites about tattoos and piercing.