How Nature Helped The Military Solve the Problem Of Camouflage

During the 19th century when world wars were going on the military was attempting to solve the problem of Camouflaging soldiers and equipment.

So where did they look? Scientists that studied nature.

The scientists study birds and insects along with fish for new methods of camo to replace what they had learned during previous wars. Which didn’t fool anyone or anything.

During the first studies they had forgot about the infrared camera’s on airplanes. They found their answer in frogs. When a picture is taken with an infrared camera, the landscape is a ghost like scene, with tree’s and bushes an distinct white. This is because of chlorophyl. The green pigment in leaves reflects the infrared rays. Anything that absorbs the rays appears black in the white landscape.

Most animal pigments are intended for concealment and have an infrared absorbing capacity, especially if their enemies have eyes sensitive to this invisible light.

The frog is a fine example of an animal that can remain invisible in it’s surroundings. Also, some birds and insects have a natural camo. Certain colors harmonize with the surrounding landscape. Fish even have camo, the Pache De Fohla found in the lower Amazon river looks like a water logged leaf. This also reminds me of when my dad and I used to go gigging for white suckers in the spring. Those fish would always attempt to go up-stream to find the freshest water available. I have seen them in small streams with their back out of the water and when looking for them at night with a flashlight, I have stepped on them because they are camo’d and look just like the rocks on the bottom of the river bed.

Back to what were really talking about. The green beetle, which looks like a leaf and hangs from a branch with 2 legs and spends it’s life swaying back and forth like a leaf on a breezy day is great at camouflage.

Another is the Algerian Grasshopper: which lives in the desert. It’s color blends with the rocks around it.

Other insects found on tree’s align themselves not only with the color of the bark of tree’s but, the direction of the bark.

Think about the deer, if a deer stood perfectly still, how long would it take you to spot it in the woods. There coat changes in the fall and they look like the leaves on the ground (except for that white tail).

So now you know how nature helped the military improve their camo problem.

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