The (Almost) Hidden History Of Camouflage
Like hovercrafts and jetpacks, the invisibility cloak has been well represented in science fiction and fantasy stories. With our technological developments in the 21st century, some of the most impossible ideas in science fiction are now regarded as simply unlikely. Science continues to prove that the impossible actually can be achieved. The idea of invisibility is coveted, especially by the military, leading to some incredible advancements in practical disguises such as camouflage. In a few short decades, camo designs have infiltrated everything from fishing and hunting to the world of high fashion. Discover the hidden history of how camouflage got started and where it might go in this brief camo exposé.
Humans have been fascinated with the concept of camouflage for thousands of years. Evidence of our interest can be found as early as Aristotle in his study of animals in the natural world. It's very likely that humans were inspired by animals and insects that could alter their attributes or blend into their surroundings at will. The concept of concealment, disguises and invisibility can be found in ancient literature and fiction, often depicted as an ability possessed by gods, spirits or inhuman creatures. It wasn't long until our longing for invisibility found its practical footing.
Painted Pirate Ships
Scholars have pointed to some of the techniques used by pirates and Roman fleets in the ancient world as some of the first military-related attempts at concealment. The early pioneers tried to paint ships to blend in with the sea with shades of blue and green, or darker colors to be stealthier at night. Although these techniques weren't sophisticated or founded on scientific principles, it shows an early interest in developing camouflage for military reasons to gain an advantage over an enemy. But real military strides weren't made for many centuries.
Advancements in naval camouflage led to some success in World War I. Ships were painted as a way to deter enemies from using long-range gunfire, most notably with countershading and patterns that weren't yet scientifically sophisticated and inevitably unsuccessful at disrupting missile fire. By World War II, camouflage was broadly introduced on weapons and equipment everywhere after zoologists and artists proved how effective it could be in warfare. Success in World War II led to funding for scientific advancements for military purposes, which lead to the military applying camo to nearly everything.
Camo continued to improve for military purposes when hunting pioneers started developing an array of designs and complex outfits like kids' ghillie suits to help themselves blend into home environments. At the same time, the military was also making breakthroughs by creating camo for every type of environment around the world. Soon, camouflage designs inspired by the military started trickling into mainstream fashion as well. Commercial possibilities allowed camo to take root and make strides in hunting and outdoors activities. In America, wearing camo quickly became a symbol of military support and patriotism.
The Future Of Invisibility
The scientific focus on camouflage and its practical purposes in the military and hunting realms paved the way for breakthroughs in invisibility. While the concept isn't likely to ever amount to the ideas depicted in science fiction or fantasy, creating the technology to render objects like the human figure almost completely invisible in certain environments has already shown promise. Many scientists working in the field are confident that full invisibility is possible, and there are many effective cloaking devices already in use by the military.
We won't be walking around in invisibility cloaks anytime soon, but we can still enjoy some nice camo designs whether we're hunting in the woods or getting work done around the house. Get yourself some camouflage clothes at The Lakeside Collection, and don't miss out on finding the products to conceal almost anything at home, from kitchen storage jars to closet organizers.