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Octopus Skin Inspires Camouflage Tech

Scientists turn once again to Mother Nature for insight and inspiration

Anne Parsons
Octopus Skin Inspires Camouflage Tech© 2018 Morten Brekkevold - Flickr

The Octopus is the underwater king of camouflage, thanks to its multilayered skin. The cephalopod has three layers of skin - one for conveying warm colors, one for conveying cool colors, and one that can diffuse white light in all directions.

It's no surprise that scientists would want to replicate the process by which octopuses hide themselves so effectively. A research team at University of Houston and at the University of Illinois have produced a research paper, entitled "Adaptive optoelectronic camouflage systems with designs inspired by cephalopod skins" about their efforts to simulate the sophisticated skin.

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The team had good results, as seen in the video below. They did not work with colour, and the effect is much slower than how the octopuses skin reacts in nature, but it was a groundbreaking development, and in early stages. 

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