Why Evolution Is True introduced me to a profoundly awesome example of mimicry in nature: Uropyia meticulodina, a moth from eastern Asia that looks like a dead leaf.
Real Monstrosities: "It’s not just brown like a dead leaf, it’s brown like a curled up, dead leaf. And it’s not just brown like a curled up, dead leaf, it depicts a leaf catching the light, with shadows in all the right places and you can even see the veins casting tiny shadows along the curled underside. It’s like one of those optical illusions that still work even when you know it’s a trick."
Here's what it looks like "normally", or at least when pinned to a board. (Hsu Hong Lin, CC)
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This broadclub cuttlefish like to prowl the Indonesian reefs for crabs, which it then hypnotizes with its remarkable skin before grabbing and eating. Read the rest
No one will doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion in Standard Rainbow's leggings. Their geometric patterns are inspired by the "dazzle camouflage," the experimental paint jobs used on World War I battleships to confuse enemy submarine gunners.
P.S. There are also totebags.
Previously: "Dazzle camouflage" on BB
Congrats, Evan Wagoner-Lynch!
USS Nebraska image via Wikipedia (public domain), totes image via Standard Rainbow Read the rest
The Women’s Reserve Camouflage Corps were a group of 40 woman artists from NYC and Philadelphia ("in perfect physical condition") who devised camouflage systems for fighters and materiel during WWI, testing their theories by hiding in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx -- where the local cops grew accustomed to having seeming rocks and trees spring to life as they passed. Read the rest
Shigeki Matsuyama created Narcissism: Dazzle room, a trippy and disorienting painted pattern based on camouflage patterns used in World War I. Read the rest
Brenham, Texas-based BlueBell Creameries has launched a new "Camo 'n Cream" camouflage ice cream. It's a combo, containing pistachio almond, milk chocolate and cream cheese flavors. The packaging features woodland pattern camouflage which I guess makes sense given the ice cream was launched on the first day of dove hunting season in texas. Yum?
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Available for $1800 OBO in Lynchburg, Virginia:
1984 Chevy shorted in great shape with a perfect camouflaged paintjob. 4 wheel drive like new interior, very clean windows. low miles.
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MIT researchers have demonstrated an algorithm that analyzes photos of a real world scene and then generates an incredibly-effective camouflage pattern to wrap objects later placed in that location. From MIT News:
According to Andrew Owens, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science and lead author on the new paper, the problem of disguising objects in a scene is, to some degree, the inverse of the problem of object detection, a major area of research in computer vision.
"Often these algorithms work by searching for specific cues — for example they might look for the contours of the object, or for distinctive textures." Owens says. "With camouflage, you want to avoid these cues — you don't want the object's contours to be visible or for its texture to be very distinctive. Conceptually, a cue that would be good for detecting an object is something that you want to remove.”
"Custom Camouflage" Read the rest
Simone C. Niquille's REALFACE Glamoflage shirts are designed to confound Facebook's face-recognition software by covering you in famous faces when you venture into public. The project was sparked by a(nother) privacy-undermining Facebook terms-of-service change, this one allowing the company to auto-tag the people in the photos you upload. The shirts were part of FaceValue, a master's thesis in design at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, and Niquille's explanation of her work is fascinating: Read the rest
Marine biologist Roger Hanlon is king of the color-changing cephalopods. I've talked about him here before. In this video, narrated by NPR's Robert Krulwich, Hanlon demonstrates how much fun his job really is.
Via Robert Krulwich's blog, which has more background on the camouflage gymnastics that cephalopods are capable of.
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Roger Hanlon is a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He studies cephalopods—octopus, squid, and cuttlefish. Specifically, he studies the way these animals change their skin color and texture to match with their surroundings.
I've talked about his research before on BoingBoing Video and showed you some truly astounding footage he shot of a bunch of kelp that suddenly turns out to be a disguised octopus.
In this video segment from NPR's Science Friday, you can see more of Hanlon's videos of camouflaged cephalopods. There's also some great up-close footage of chromatophores—the special cells that allow cephalopods to change their color and shape.
Thanks to Andrea James for sending this over!
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