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Life's True Face Is The Skull


I was browsing my list of podcasts the other day and noticed that nearly every podcast had a skull as a part of it's logo. From our own HHS to Astonishing Legends, the famous Jim Harold's Campfire, Graveyard Tales, and Spirits, all shows have used a skull in some way even though not all those shows focus on the paranormal. I also realised one of my favourite organisations, Sea Shepard also have a skull and my tattoo artist has skulls around his studio, there's lots of Skull decorations around and even vodka that's sold in a bottle shaped like a skull. It got me thinking, what's with humanity's fascination with skulls?

The skull symbolises many things. It is a staple for Halloween decorations. It symbolises death, evil and all that is creepy. However different cultures view the Skull symbolises the complete opposite. In Mexico, there is the famous holiday Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead holiday where graves are decorated, food and gifts are offered to encourage those who have passed on to visit. Calaveras or Sugar Skulls are decorated to reflect the lost loved ones personality. It is believed the skull represents their ancestors watching over the living and guiding them.

A decorated sugar skull

Skulls are a common design for tattoos. Maybe tattooists will have a skull sitting on their work bench or around their shop. It is said a skull tattooed on a biker protects them from death. Other skull tattoos symbolise power, strength, a significant life change, triumph and rebellion. When a skull is tattooed with a rose, it can signify the contrast between life and death. A skull tattoo could also be worn as a reminder of death, something we all have to face. Or as a memory of a lost loved one.

A skull tattoo by Jose Perez Jr

Pirates are known to employ the infamous skull and cross bones known as the Jolly Rodger. This symbolises a pirates ruthlessness, despair and challenging the natural order of things. However the skull with bleeding heart and hourglass on the black pirate flag means death, violence, limited time, which is symbolic of a seaman's life.

The skull can serve as a warning symbol, used to show danger. A skull with cross bones can also signify a poisonous substance which is not to be consumed. The skull on Sea Shepard's logo symbolises humanity and the death and destruction it has bought to the oceans.

Skulls have a strange appeal to humans. Maybe it's because we have a specific part of the brain that recognises faces, even from tiny symbols such as this :) Or is it the macabre and creepiness of a skull, a momemento mori or maybe it brings in positive energy and protection. Personally I love them. So keep an eye out for the old HHS skull and y'all come back now hear!!

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