Jelly Roll Explains the Hilarious Meaning Behind His Quokka Tattoo
Jelly Roll's best-known tattoos are perhaps the striking ink he's got on his face, but the singer says that there's one special tattoo on his wrist that reminds him to stay happy and carefree.
"I'm infatuated with quokkas. I tattooed a quokka on me," the singer told press backstage at Nashville's Nissan Stadium on Friday night (June 9), where he was a surprise guest during that evening's lineup of CMA Fest performers.
For those not in the know, the quokka is a small marsupial — about the size of a house cat — endemic to small islands off the coast of Western Australia, especially Rottnest Island. They're known for being friendly to humans, and often pose for selfies with passersby.
"Google 'happiest animal on earth,' it'll show you a quokka," Jelly Roll beams. "They're always smiling. They have no known predators on their island, and they live off eucalyptus leaves. Which means they're always high, which is why they're always happy."
While this piece of news might be a buzzkill, it's likely that the quokkas are not literally high — according to the Australia-based Moreton Bay Koala Rescue, it's a myth that eucalyptus leaves are intoxicating to the animals that consume them. But it's easy to see where the myth emerges from, since eucalyptus leaves are extremely fibrous, and animals who eat them often need to rest and relax for long periods of time in order to digest them. Plus, quokkas have notoriously relaxed, friendly demeanors, and their adorable faces often look like they're smiling.
Plus, most stressed-out humans would do well to take a cue from the easygoing quokka. Jelly Roll himself says he often takes inspiration from their laid-back attitude.
"Anytime I get upset in life, I look down at my wrist and I think, 'Just be a quokka. High and happy,'" he comments with a smile.
Close-up photos of Jelly's quokka tattoo are a little hard to come by, since there are plenty of other tattoos on his hands and arms that make it somewhat difficult to see exactly where the quokka ink is. What we do know, however, is when the singer got his quokka tattoo: He announced his new ink in April 2021, tweeting, "I legit got a Quokka tattooed on me last night when I was super drunk."