The word 'Ouroboros' - 'tail devourer' - is Greek in origin, but the symbol originated in ancient Egypt more than 3,300 years ago.
The ancient Egyptians saw the sun rise and disappear into the ground every day and watched as the Nile flooded their land year after year, so they came to believe that all of Nature, including their own lives, was an endlessly repeating cycle of death and rebirth.
The ouroboros symbol arose from this belief; it was a way for them to express it visually, like hieroglyphics. The symbol's striking image - a snake coiled into a circle and eating its own tail - represented their idea of infinity: A never-ending cycle of life, death, and resurrection; destruction and re-creation.
The ouroboros symbol became so important that in the 14th Century BC it was used to decorate a golden sarcophagus in the tomb of King Tut. That was its first known appearance.