Maybe you heard this week about the new sharkproof wetsuits, which a lack of research and total reliance on my faulty memory tells me are based on the “dazzle” approach to camouflage — that is, visually breaking up the surface of an object to make it harder to identify, or even see.  Or maybe they use the blendy-inny (mimetic) approach, in which the object mimics the field or background it’s trying to disappear into.

Here are two pictures of the same cat, one in summer and one in winter.  The cat is a gray and black tiger-striped.  His mottled surface blends in better in the summer, when he can almost disappear into the ground, than in the winter when he can only disappear if he stands next to the tree.

camo cat camo cat_0001

The Chinese artist Liu Bolin paints himself to blend in to a variety of settings:


To see more fascinating pics and find out why, click here.

I kinda like some of the rigs available to hunters:


What makes us invisible in one setting would make us an object of curiosity in another.  Which is where the invisibility cloak would come in handy.

(imagine your own illustration here)

I think it’s interesting to think about which situations make us want to blend in, and which ones make us want to stand out.  And how we balance those two instincts.