Tattoos are the ultimate forms of self-expression and some people feel compelled to share their love for math with creative designs that are both thought-provoking and elegant. We decided to take a deep look into the world of math tattoos and we discovered that the people who have them often wax poetic about an equation, formula, or theory on which their tattoo is based. It’s very inspiring.
When we started this tattoo journey we did not expect to see as much creativity and honestly, beauty. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that most mathematicians and people who love math also have incredible taste in tattoos! That shouldn’t have been a surprise we learned as we read the most compelling descriptions and motivations behind these designs. If you love math and want to spread that love, you could do no better than getting a formula-inspired design. Here are 25 excellent math-inspired tattoos that totally add up.
Numbers in Nature
“Pick up a sunflower and count the florets running into its centre, or count the spiral scales of a pine cone or a pineapple, running from its bottom up its sides to the top, and you will find an extraordinary truth: recurring numbers, ratios and proportions,” is a quote attributed to Charles Jencks. It was shared along with this image of a glorious tattoo.
Your Calculator Has Had Enough
Have you ever felt the way this calculator looks? This little guy looks like he’s ready to revolt. Perhaps too much number-crunching?
Math on the Mind
Here we find various equations floating around a woman with closed eyes. This tattoo is done in a sketch style which gives it an energetic look like a calculation in process.
Apparently, this is a math joke or math pun but it’s beyond our understanding. Luckily, the person who shared this image left a clue that it’s in relation to Euler’s formula. We looked it up! “Euler’s formula, named after Leonhard Euler, is a mathematical formula in complex analysis that establishes the fundamental relationship between the trigonometric functions and the complex exponential function.” We still don’t get it but, hopefully, you do!
This very neat and tidy tattoo has some of the sharpest lines we’ve ever seen. The tattoo artist who shared it is also not a math person and they tagged the image with the hashtag: “equations and sh*t.” We felt that.
A unit circle is a circle of unit radius, that is, a radius of 1. Here, we find an image that illustrates it in tattoo form.
Love the Pi
We think this has something to do with integrals, but we liked it for the heart because we’re soft. These very fine lines are hard for an artist to pull off, but they’ve done so here.
Here’s the symbol for Pi created by thousands of tiny little dots that form a circle and gentle gradient. We love the way the symbol and the background behind it contrast.
In geometry, a golden spiral is a logarithmic spiral whose growth factor is φ, the golden ratio. We love the choice of color here with blue, black, and red ink all looking great. Take a look at how fine these lines are!
Be an Einstein
Wow! We were thrilled to stumble across this photorealistic portrait of Einstein. More tattoos of geniuses, please!
As you can see, this person is a math-lifer. We find a variety of symbols employed here right on the fingers. Do you love math this much?
Daisies are beautiful flowers and it turns out they work well to reveal the symbol for Pi. This gentle black and grey tattoo was a big commitment and we hope this person is very pleased with the results.
Fibonacci Coming at You
Here, we find another Fibonacci spiral, this time it’s decked out in sumptuous color. Watercolor tattoos are so beautiful and add interest to even the most simple design. “Fibonacci spiral for one of the coolest math teachers around!” the artist captioned this photo.
This tattoo is completely silly, but we thought we’d include it because this is about all we can remember from our math classes in school. This is a wonderful tattoo with a very asinine subject. According to the caption, this person is a math teacher!
A spirograph is a geometric drawing device that produces mathematical roulette curves of the variety technically known as hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. Here, we find one that’s inspired a tattoo.
“To commemorate overcoming her 8 heart surgeries,” the artist wrote. “Plot this equation and you’ll get the outline of a heart.” We’re not tearing up, you are!
Pascal’s triangle is a triangular array of binomial coefficients. In most of the Western world, it is named after the famed French mathematician Blaise Pascal, although other mathematicians studied it centuries before him in India, Persia, China, Germany, and Italy.
Pythagoras of Samos was an ancient Ionian Greek philosopher and the eponymous founder of Pythagoreanism. Chances are you’ve heard of his theorem.
To the (?) Degree
The tattoo artist that completed this amazing design deserves a prize for patience. Just, wow! We can’t tell to what degree this has been taken, but it stretches all the way from the wrist to the shoulder, so pretty darn far, we’d say.
Plot this baby on an X-Y axis. We’ve got some rise over run here done in very brilliant colors which gives this math tattoo some pop.
A Racing Mind
We think this is a mental health tattoo and a math tattoo mashup. The person who shared it wrote that it’s supposed to be of a “racing mind.” We liked the design so much we included it here.
Come for the golden curve stay for the rainbow colors! This absolutely wonderful, blocky design looks like something you’d find in a work of modern art.
Here’s the formula for beta radiation. This very sharp-looking tattoo looks absolutely fantastic.
“Mathematics allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness,” this person captioned the photo. This handsome pair of calipers looks fantastic and has vintage appeal.
There you go! We hope you enjoyed this list of tattoos inspired by mathematics. Please consider getting your own to show your love.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 Numbers in Nature
- 2 Your Calculator Has Had Enough
- 3 Math on the Mind
- 4 Euler’s Formula
- 5 Calculus
- 6 Unit Circle
- 7 Love the Pi
- 8 Whole Pi
- 9 Spiral
- 10 Be an Einstein
- 11 Symbols
- 12 Daisy Pi
- 13 Fibonacci Coming at You
- 14 Nostalgia
- 15 Spirograph
- 16 8 Surgeries
- 17 Pascal’s Triangle
- 18 Pythagoras
- 19 To the (?) Degree
- 20 Slope
- 21 A Racing Mind
- 22 That Sequence
- 23 Beta Radiation
- 24 Metatron Cube
- 25 Calipers
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