From the legendary Lighthouse of Alexandria to the futuristic Yehliu Lighthouse in Taiwan, lighthouses have served as a welcoming beacon of familiarity for countless mariners returning home from long voyages at sea. Ever since the first lighthouse was lit by a primitive fire placed on an elevated platform, lighthouses have been fascinating people from all walks of life. Today, lighthouse enthusiasts photograph the structures as a hobby.
Lighthouse tattoo designs are surprisingly popular. If you can dream it up, it’s probably already been done. Below you’ll find some of the best examples of lighthouse tattoos the internet has to offer. Enjoy!
This dotwork lighthouse.
One of only two foot tattoos on the list, this dotwork lighthouse tattoo features two serpents winding around the base of the structure. (Photo: Sasha Masiuk)
This lighthouse in a bottle.
This black and grey ink lighthouse tattoo.
Looking similar to a pencil sketch, this elegant lighthouse design decorates the entire side of this lucky individual. Notice the small birds in flight. (Photo: Sven Rayen)
This dotwork lighthouse tattoo.
This rope-framed lighthouse.
This uber realistic portrait of a lighthouse at dusk features a traditional rope border that contrasts well with the realistic interior. Red and white strips spiral around the lighthouse like those of a candy cane. Red and white stripes are a common sight in the lighthouse world, painted to match red navigational aids at sea. (Photo: John Barrett)
This geometric design.
This watercolor lighthouse tattoo.
If you’re familiar with Sasha Unisex’s work then you’ll instantly recognize this forearm piece as belonging to her. Her signature watercolor style that can easily be distinguished from others by her use of hard lines has garnered her quite the following. For more unique watercolor designs be sure to check out her portfolio. (Photo: Sasha Unisex)
This awesome arm work.
The oldest, and probably most well known lighthouse that still stands today is the Tower of Hercules, a 1900-year-old Roman lighthouse that overlooks the North Atlantic coast of Spain. The lighthouse itself was modeled after The Lighthouse of Alexandra and enjoys a protected status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a national monument of Spain. (Photo: Uncl Paul Knows)
This creative nautical-themed work.
From the crashing waves to the ship’s helm, this work of art is one of the coolest designs on the list. Fun Fact: In order to light the lighthouse’s lamps, first large fires were used followed by whale oil wicks. Both were eventually replaced by the invention of the parabolic reflector system which in turn was replaced by the fresnel lens in the 1950’s which is still in use today. (Photo: Anna Yershova)
This cool sketch style work.
Lighthouses are painted in various patterns. Horizontal stripes, spirals, solid colors and diamonds are regularly alternated to distinguish one lighthouse from another. (Photo: Szabi)
This highly detailed dotwork design.
Here we have an aging lighthouse that’s being overtaken by the thick vines of nature. Cracks can be seen on the surface as well as rickety wooden scaffolding and a sky full of dotwork clouds. (Photo: Parvick)
This wrapping design.
This traditional red and white striped lighthouse tattoo features a large life ring in the foreground stuck in the sand. The blue and green waves crashing in the background add a nice calming effect to the work. (Photo: Farbschock)
This tiny ankle tat.
Fun fact: The smallest functioning lighthouse in the world is located in North Queensferry, Scotland, and stands a mere 11ft high. (Photo: Sven Rayen)