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Long before the first astronaut went into space, human beings have been obsessed with worlds beyond our own. The ancients looked to the stars as a source of mystic power, studying the movements of the planets and other celestial bodies across the sky to tell of events to come. Galileo and his contemporaries learned how to see these great mysterious planets, and dreamed of what else could be out there, ready to be discovered.
With the earliest reports of “unidentified flying object” (UFO) sightings go as far back as the 1600’s, the idea of life beyond Earth is not a new one. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells was published in 1897, popularizing the idea, but the craze didn’t really get going until half a century later. As the Space Race ramped up in 1950, attacks from extraterrestrial aliens became featured more frequently in movies, books, and television shows. Since then, people within both the scientific community and popular culture have explored the idea of intelligent life from on another planet.
In the realms of film and comic books, aliens have seen many representations. From the more sinister versions in the Alien and Independence Day movies to the much cuter “Little Green Men” (LGMs) in the Toy Story saga, there are no boundaries to what form an alien might take. Universes like those in Star Wars and Star Trek have limitless alien species from a variety of planets, all with distinct features and personality traits. With all these aliens to choose from, it is easy to see how someone could find a tattoo inspiration among the various depictions.
From the stereotypical large-eyed green alien to other versions of extraterrestrial beings, there is a plethora of alien tattoo ideas from which to choose. Put your own spin on the creature or go for a more common look, if you are a fan of aliens we have the tattoo design for you. Allow us to abduct your attention for a few solar moments as we soar through galaxies unknown in search of intelligent life elsewhere.
Best Alien Tattoos
Small Alien Tattoo: Happy to See You
A small, happy alien head is the perfect tiny tattoo. If you want to go for a simple look, a finger tattoo is a great way to do it. Using simple black lines and fill for the eyes makes the design both easy to accomplish and recognizable.
Green Alien Head, Galaxy of Colors
This alien head is most likely what people think of when you say the word alien. An image popularized in the 1950’s, this green alien head has come to represent something that is strange or out of this world. The bright green makes for a fun tattoo, and the swirling deep colors in the background connect back to space and worlds unknown. A cool ankle tattoo, this would also work on the shoulder or forearm.
We Are Here
Small alien head tattoos are a good way to be subtle when expressing your love for life beyond Earth. Especially if you do not want your alien on display all the time, this tiny design might be the one for you. While this placement is slightly harder to conceal, a small alien tattoo could go just about anywhere.
Humans Don’t Exist
An interesting take on an alien tattoo, the message of this tattoo go could go two ways. One, the alien is denying the existence of humans, a flip on the disbelief. The other message is more frightening, implying we are all aliens and not human at all. Either way, the simple line design makes for a fun alien tattoo idea.
Live Long and Prosper
This small alien head is perfectly placed to be on display for this Vulcan greeting. The typical alien look, shading in the eyes gives this alien tattoo design a bit of depth. If you like color in your tattoos, add the bright green or have your artist do the outline in green or blue instead of the conventional black.
Tie-Dye Alien Head
A cool blend of 1960’s cultural icons, an alien head gets a color upgrade with the bright tie-dye colors. This is a good way to take your alien tattoo to another level while still connecting back to the lore. Going for a neutral facial expression for the alien allows the colors to come through.
Kang and Kodos are two aliens featured in the TV show The Simpsons. The bright colors match the art style of the show and translates well here in the tattoo. Adding the message of Aliens Exist fits with the idea that these aliens invade normal life and wreak havoc on the citizens.
Prometheus and Alien
These designs are inspired by the Alien film universe, using the aliens from both Prometheus and the Alien films. As the former alien species is the ancestor of the latter, it makes sense to use them both in a tattoo set. The swirling design makes them almost look like dragons, and might fool someone unfamiliar with the film lore. That almost makes these tattoos your own little secret nod to the series if you wanted a slightly more hidden design.
And the Cow too
There cannot be alien tattoos without referencing abduction. Alien abduction tattoos speak to the rise of claims in the 1950’s and 60’s of being taken away by aliens in their flying saucers. The aliens would conduct experiments on the poor abductees and then send them home to Earth. As the majority of these claims from the Southwestern parts of the United States, the farm image fits perfectly.
We Come in Peas
Nothing like a little word play to make a cute alien tattoo. The pea pod reference fits perfectly with the green alien stereotype, not to mention it is just plain adorable. Adding the pink highlights to the tattoo ramps up the cute factor.
Oh So Cute Alien Tattoo
This cute alien tattoo has a multiple factors that enhance its cuteness. For starters, who could not love any creature with that adorable facial expression? Nothing that sweet and happy could possibly be threatening. The colors of the tattoo make the look bright and fun while still fitting the alien theme. Finishing the design with a heart between the antenna makes you absolutely sure that this alien is friend, not foe.
I See You
A tiny alien spaceship tattoo is ideal if you are looking for a small alien tattoo for your wrist. The simple lines and shapes of this tattoo work well in such a small space, as well as choosing not to use color. The little alien peeking out over the edge of the spaceship gives the tattoo personality and an appealing quality. (You also have to wonder if he’s after the tiny cat further down the arm.)
Wanna Go for a Ride?
Impressive detail for such a small design, this UFO tattoo captures the moment right before the kidnap of this poor person. From the shading on the ship to the outline that implies glow, even without color this alien spaceship tattoo is pretty flawless. However, if you wanted a pop of color, using yellow or green for the beam would be a cool look.
Here for the Beer
A common theme among alien lore is that they are just as curious about us as we are about them. In this fun take on an alien abduction tattoo, what is actually being snatched is not a person at all, but a nice, foamy mug of beer. Between the bright colors and hilarious theme, this is a great alien tattoo choice if you want something out of the ordinary.
The Spaceship has Landed
When you think of a flying saucer, this is probably what comes to mind. If you are looking for an alien spaceship tattoo, this is a great design that is easily recognizable. Shading is used effectively to make the different parts of the UFO tattoo stand out, as well as color contrast between the lighter and darker parts of the ship.
Engage Rocket Boosters
A different take on an alien spaceship tattoo, this alien looks more like an explorer or scout checking out the planet. His presence may seem benign, but we’ll find out when the rest of the swarm arrives. For now, the bright colors and sleek design of the rocket make for a cool tattoo.
And We’re Off
This tiny alien abduction tattoo is simple but effective. The little burst of color from the beam catches your attention and adds a bit of flair. In this instance, the alien spaceship tattoo fits in with an older UFO tattoo, but you could also use this as a standalone piece if you would like. Its size makes this tattoo easy to place anywhere.
Going for a pair of alien tattoos is a bold choice, so you had better go big or go home (preferably your home, and not the alien’s home). For these designs, it might be best to go for an alien tattoo stencil to get all the details right. From the alien abduction tattoo on the left to the UFO tattoo on the right, you want to make sure you have everything little piece done correctly.
I Wasn’t Ready!
A hilarious take on an alien abduction tattoo, this time the poor person is beamed directly out of their house, taking with them a few random belongings. This tattoo tells a story, which is one of the best aspects of any good tattoo. Using black and white here allows you to take in more of the details of the scene.
A great example of a tiny neck tattoo, this kidnapping has all the essentials of an alien abduction tattoo. The flying saucer, tractor beam, tiny figure hoisted up into the sky, all perfectly done in miniature. Going for plain black in this design lets the details shine through in a way that wouldn’t necessarily work with color.
Here We Go
A detailed alien abduction scene, this tattoo would come out best if you used an alien tattoo stencil. With all the little line accents, getting that exactly right would take extreme precision if you didn’t have a stencil. Capturing the moment inside the diamond sets boundaries for the tattoo and gives it a specific shape that is pleasing.
E.T. Phone Home
An iconic scene from the class film E.T., this fun alien abduction tattoo combines together the moment from the movie with “traditional” abduction elements. Fabulous with its deep, solid colors, the alien tattoo design has a painted quality that makes it stunning. Working with a geometric shape defines the tattoo space, but also makes the spaceship stand out.
In line with the theme of curiosity, these aliens clearly better want to understand these quizzical animals humans call sheep. A playful alien abduction tattoo, the tiny details within the frame are exquisite. Going for a pointillist art style gives the tattoo texture and a sense of mystery.
A Far Off Planet
Matching up the alien head with the planets makes perfect sense in this small alien tattoo. As these creatures make their homes anywhere else but Earth, putting several planets with the alien helps us to image where he or she (or it?) might be from. This design fits perfectly on the wrist, but would also work well on the ankle.
Beam Me Up
This traditional alien spaceship tattoo has all the elements. The flying saucer shape, tractor beam, and characteristic tilt make it instantly recognizable. While this alien tattoo design is in black and white, throwing in elements of green, blue, or even purple would add flair to the look.
The Truth is Out There
What would otherwise be a quaint nighttime scene is thrown into science fiction with the addition of the spaceship. The message behind this tattoo is that everything that we believe to be normal may in fact be a lie, and that we should search for the truth. Pointillism and shading add to the artistry of the piece, but also enhance the mystery.
They Are Here
Going for a sketchbook art style gives this alien abduction tattoo a cool look, and shakes up the theme a bit. The bright blue of the spaceship and the beam definitely feels other-worldly, and the bend of the person as they are beamed into the ship captures the movement of the moment. While the overall look is a fun one, it cannot be denied that They Are Here is more than a bit ominous.
In a Galaxy Far, Far Away
This alien spaceship tattoo takes us where the aliens might be from, in a far-flung galaxy light-years from us. Cute little space designs come together to form a cohesive piece, but each aspect of the tattoo could work as its own tiny space tattoo. The takeoff of the spaceship in particular captures the eye with its movement.
Loose Lips Sink…Spaceships?
A different take on this wartime saying, talking about where the aliens might be could cause them to be shot down or destroyed. Obviously, in this case, that is not the desired outcome. Using a retro font for the wording fits with the decades of the alien craze, as does the color palette of the tattoo. A larger tattoo design, this is perfectly placed on the shoulder.
The X Files
One of the most popular alien-themed TV shows, The X Files maintains a cult following years after the show was on the air. The idea of The Truth is Out There fits with their search to find the answers within the plot of the show. Using a Warhol-inspired design adds drama to the tattoo while allowing the characters’ faces to still be identifiable.
Doing a mashup tattoo is a fun way to let your own style shine. In this design, an alien spaceship tattoo meets an adorable cat. Using yellows and oranges as the primary source of color keeps tattoo from being too busy and the focus on the design. This a great chance to pair your love of aliens with your favorite furry friend, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a cat.
Layers of detail give a lot of interest to this alien abduction tattoo. Deep shading makes the need for color unnecessary as the details come through in the design. The symmetry and exact lines make this an ideal opportunity to use an alien tattoo stencil.
Strangers! From the Outside!
OOOooooOOOO! A classic and beloved character, the Pizza Planet aliens (or LGMs, as they later become known) are an adorable choice for an alien tattoo. Their bright colors and friendly demeanor make for the perfect cute alien tattoo. Adding other elements from Toy Story would take this design from a single piece to a collection or sleeve.
Peace, Love, Aliens, and…Pineapples?
Featured as part of a collection of tiny tattoos, the small alien head tattoo finds its place among the symbols. These little tattoos have personal meaning to the tattoo owner, and the alien fits in well among the black and white designs. If you wanted to go for a similar look, choose items that would be significant to you. Some symbols that come to mind are diamonds, pandas, and tiger eyes, just to name a few.
This alien has not come to play, nor is it friendly. This alien head tattoo shows it means business, and you puny humans better get out of the way. The details and shading bring out the expression, striking fear into human hearts. Going for the head rather than the whole body allows you to keep the tattoo small.
Sons of Aliens
Another cool mashup, this tattoo takes the beloved puppet ALF and mixes him with the popular series Sons of Anarchy. While the theme of SoA is in name only, it still makes for a fun reference. ALF, being an alien in the popular TV show of the same name, is the perfect subject for an alien tattoo.
You are Doomed
A dark take on an alien tattoo, this full sleeve depicts a menacing alien whose intentions are nothing but bad for Earth. The details in this piece are stunning, showing every wrinkle within the alien’s skin. Complete with an intimidating facial expression, this alien tattoo will haunt your dreams and creep into your nightmares.
In Space, No One can Hear You Scream
The popular film series Alien brought us one of the most terrifying extraterrestrials ever created by Hollywood. Seen here in this sleeve, the alien is baring its fangs ready to strike at its enemies. As these aliens are dark-colored by nature, sticking with a basic black design is fitting. The action stance of the creature provides movement within the piece.
E.T. and Elliott
A combination of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and the famous scene from the movie E.T., this chest tattoo brings together different themes that pull at the heartstrings. The famous painting speaks to the moment that Adam became a sentient being, while the touch between E.T. and Elliott binds them together. The meaning of this alien tattoo is complex, and could be seen as the connection between two beings from across the universe.
Interesting to combine together and alien and a rose, but tattoos are all about personal meaning. As aliens represent something strange or out of the ordinary, and red roses are associated with love, this tattoo could show the person’s feelings about their relationship. Maybe it is strange, quirky, and hard to understand, but if it works, it works. Bright colors and an atypical placement further accent this tattoo.
Surreal Alien Head
Aliens make the perfect subject for a more surreal tattoo design, as aliens are not real themselves. Mushrooms are associated with good luck and nature, but also with psychedelic drugs. The latter first gained popularity in the 1960’s and 70’s, which fits with the design of this alien. Seeing things in black and white might not be as clear if you are under the influence of such substances, but the coloring certainly works in this alien tattoo design.
In the movie Alien, the “face-sucker” attaches itself to a victim to implant an offspring into a host before dying itself. After a period of time, the newly hatched alien will burst from the host to wreak havoc on its unsuspecting victims. This alien tattoo depicts the moment of the alien’s hatching, coming out of its host. The coloring, shadows, and blood all make the tattoo seem lifelike and dangerous, fitting with the themes of the films.
Continuing with the Alien theme, this alien tattoo idea shows the incubation of the baby alien inside the host, waiting to be born. Wrapped up like an unborn human baby, for the moment the alien seems harmless. Little does the host suspect the danger that lies within. Fortunately, as this is a tattoo, the birth of said alien is highly unlikely.
Simple Spaceship Tattoo
Sometimes, simple is best. Using basic lines designs and geometric shapes, this alien spaceship tattoo is just as effective as a more complex design. A tattoo of this size would fit well on the shoulder, forearm, or calf in addition to its current placement.
Alien Spaceship Heel Tattoo
Tiny heel tattoos are another great small alien tattoo option. Here, the tiny alien spaceship tattoo is adorable and effective. Putting a tattoo on your heel means that you can easily cover it if needed and show it off whenever you feel like it. For now, this little alien friend can be a secret between the two of you.
Taking You with Us
Detailed shading makes this alien abduction tattoo. Shades of gray replace the potential color in the design, making the scene seem dark and mysterious. The placement of this tattoo on the hip works here, but a different placement on the back or shoulder would work as well. It all depends on how often you want your tattoo on display.
Alien Flora and Fauna
When you think of an alien flower, this probably isn’t what you had in mind. Still, this is a unique take on a flower tattoo design, using the alien heads as the parts of the flower. The traditional alien head makes the perfect petal shape, and comes together to form the flower nicely. As these heads are usually green, going for black and white makes sense here unless you really want a green flower.
A scene within a shape is a rising trend in tattoo art, and to use the alien head here makes perfect sense. All the colors make for a beautiful tattoo design, with the watercolor-style planet adding that extra touch of artistry. If you wanted to include or reference a particular planet, just talk to your tattoo artist to figure out how to best accomplish that idea.
Storm Area 51 (Because it Will Totally Work)
This hilarious tattoo set brings together several different references. Among these, the first clear reference is the recent incident of Storm Area 51, in which individuals planned to mob the government facility in an attempt to finally get answers about what is hidden there (spoiler alert: it did not work). The second reference is to the video game Portal, in which characters can jump from one place to another through portals and in a sense be in two places at once. These friends have also worked in their own inside jokes, one of which in the form of a can of Monster.
Alien obsession is nothing new, there is even an event devoted to the extraterrestrial beings called Alienstock. From the original days of the mania to true believers in 2020, the search for life in space is something that will always intrigue human beings. Are we truly alone?
For those that are unafraid to show their faith in celestial beings, an alien tattoo is a great way to go. Not only do alien tattoos open the door to fun designs and references, but they work as part of a larger tattoo collection. No matter if you want to go for a tiny saucer or a huge monster sleeve, there is an alien tattoo that fits any style.