February 17, 2016 1 min read

The skull and crossbones is a symbol that has been around for years and is commonly associated with poison. When people see this symbol on an object, they know to stay away because the contents of that object are harmful. However, the skull and crossbones has a historically symbolic meaning.

Symbolic all over the world, the skull and crossbones was used by ancient tribes to symbolize power. By the Middle Ages, the skull and crossbones symbol was usually found with the words “memento mori,” which means “remember you are mortal” in Latin. This is why this symbol has been found on old gravestones. It served as a constant reminder for people that they are human and that death is inevitable. However, even in this context, the words still served as a symbol of fear. The symbol was notably used by 17th-century pirates, but certain military units and even some college fraternities still use it.

Some sects believe that with death comes the end of lies and that death brings an awakening of truth and knowledge that is not possible for a mortal to possess. As such, these groups use a skull and crossbones to symbolize that the information is only obtainable by death.

The use of the skull and crossbones has changed over the years, but the meaning of the symbol is the same. In the past, it was used as a symbol of power, and, in modern times, it is used to warn people of harmful substances. In the end, however, the use of the symbol is a way to strike fear into people.