Hammerhead Shark Tattoo Meaning, Design & Ideas

The hammerhead shark is part of the shark group family, Sphyrnidae. This family known as the Sphyrnidae is known for the unusual shape their heads are formed. The hammerhead shark got its name from the hammer-like shape that this particular shark was born with. These shark’s heads are shaped like this for a reason.

This strange shape is used to its advantage when it comes to moving through the water, manipulating its prey, and even used as a sensory receptors.

Hammerhead sharks mostly gather with each other during the day in schools, or groups, of up to 100 hammerhead sharks. During the night, they space out and start hunting for their prey. They are found in warmer waters such as the waters around the Malpelo Islands in Columbia, Cocos Island near Costa Rica, and near Molokai in Hawaii.

The warm waters from all over the world can even be found along the coastlines and continental shelves. These creatures can reach up to around 20 feet long and weigh as much as 1300 pounds. The tops of these sharks are camouflaged with a gray, greenish tint with a white belly.

Because these sharks have smaller mouths than what their body should allow, they are normally seen hunting from the bottom. Although they swim in a pack, they often hunt when they are by themselves. The hammerhead shark has been around for over 20 million years and will always mystify and amaze those who have an interest in the animal.

Not only is the hammerhead shark unique, it is also part of the endangered species list. What better way to dedicate your love and admiration for this ancient creature than to get a tattoo of it? Down below are examples of hammerhead shark tattoos that others have gotten, different designs, placements, and symbolism.

Hammerhead Symbolism

The image of a shark can be perceived as many different things throughout the world. Not only does this ferocious water beast look threatening and terrifying, but it has much more meaning behind it than what horror movies like to portray. The Celtics saw the shark for what it was, an extremely good hunter that was both smart and strong. Because of this, the Celts used the dorsal fin of a shark to represent a successful hunt, harvest of crops, and ability to survive.

The shark is, after all, the top of the food chain and ruler of the waters. There are over 400 different species of sharks, the hammerhead shark however is different than all of them and carries its own special symbolism about it.


In all of the years that people have been in contact with hammerhead sharks, there is no recorded fatalities by these animals. If not given a good reason for them to attack you, hammerhead sharks are not as dangerous to humans as some of the other creatures of the sea. Because of this, sailors and swimmers get tattoos of the hammerhead shark as a sort of talisman or good luck charm.

This idea is that the hammerhead shark will ward off other dangerous sharks and animals that may harm you while you are out in the waters.

Shark Tooth

If you want to add to your hammerhead shark design, a shark tooth is another image you can have accompany the main one. Shark teeth have always been a symbol of power. The strong teeth of the shark are what makes the animal so dangerous. Not only does the shark tooth tattoo represent power, but it also represents all that a shark is.

By nature, sharks are carnivores and are at the top of the food chain when it comes to watering animal life. Because of this, they are also very good at seeking refuge. They are able to adapt to their environment and have a good sense of guidance. This can all be shown when a tattoo of a hammerhead shark and a shark tooth is present

Underwater Scene

Having the graphic of a hammerhead shark surrounded in its natural habitat of water can give the tattoo a little more something to look at. Ideas for how you portray the hammerhead shark on your tattoo can differ. Some like the idea of the hammerhead shark being in a violent, action pose. Others keep the hammerhead shark just swimming along.

Depending on how you want to go about your tattoo, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Having enough room to place this graphic is crucial. Normally if you are getting a full underwater scene, you are planning on having at least a half sleeve on your arms or have a good amount of room on whatever part of your body you get it.

Will your hammerhead be exploring the deep underwaters of the ocean, or will it be fighting and thrashing against an attacker? A tattoo such as this looks great with a little color added to it as well. Tints of blue, red, grey, and black are all colors to consider, especially if you want this piece to be flashy and stand out from the rest.

Tribal Design

Not all hammerhead shark tattoos have to be so complex. If you are looking for more of a simple and easy tattoo of this shark but do not want to necessarily go all out on it, getting the outline of the hammerhead shark and filling it with dark bold tribal lines can be both intricate and simple at the same time.

Another great thing about getting the shark tattoo in the form of the classic tribal style is that you can basically make it as small or as big of a tattoo as you want. There are numerous ways that you can go about this tattoo concept. If you are crafty enough, making patterns within the frame of the shark is another cool way to make this image even more unique.

Whatever design and graphic you decide on getting to pertain to the hammerhead shark, it is one that is worn by few and has a very creative sense about it. The symbol of the hammerhead shows that you take what is yours and you have a confident outlook on life. This image demands power and the urgency to always move forward.

Leave a Comment