Symbols are incredibly prevalent in tattooing. We're all familiar with tattoo iconography such as sparrows, crosses and anchors and the common meaning associated with these images. But what about the ouroboros? Unlike other popular tattoo symbols whose meaning has been derived through tattoo traditions, this symbol goes back centuries. The symbol, which depicts a snake or a dragon eating it's tail in a circle, dates back to Ancient Egypt. The word, ouroboros can be traced back to Ancient Greek, with oura meaning tail and boros meaning eating. The symbol has been shown frequently throughout various cultures over time, however, it's most often associated with alchemy and Gnosticism.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the ouroboros was commonly carved into tombstones, as well as later during the Gothic revival of the 19th century. This is because the ouroboros commonly represents birth, death and rebirth. It's also been known to represent eternity and an endless return. This symbol has been depicted frequently throughout popular culture. We see it in the popular anime, "Full Metal Alchemist," as well as in 2018's "The Nun."

In honor of the rich history of the ouroboros, take a peek at 75 outstanding tattoos depicting this symbol in the gallery below. Then let us know your favorite tattoo from this list in the comments section on social media.

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