Researchers have decided to learn the secrets of camouflage from one of the experts, so they took inspiration from octopuses. The animal can easily change the color of its skin and make its texture blend in with the rest, so they borrowed this technique to create a changing material. This material can turn from a 2D form to a 3D one, and make itself hard to spot in the environment.
How Do Octopuses Blend In with the Environment So Well?
Octopuses have a special skin, which makes it easy for them to change their color whenever they have to. This skin is full of chromatophores, which are the color-changing particles. Also, among them, the skin also has other particles which reflect light, leucophores and iridophores. However, shifting color is not their only advantage.
In case of extreme danger, octopuses have this amazing property to shapeshift their skin. Its entire surface is covered in papillae, which are extremely sensitive muscles altering the skin texture whenever they feel threatened. Sometimes, this texture changes so much that it appears the skin has changed its entire shape.
Researchers borrowed the camouflage mechanism from octopuses
Since octopuses are so sensitive and smooth, these are the main properties which protect them from predators. By changing shape and color, they can easily camouflage between rocks, corals, or take the aspect of other sea creatures. Therefore, researchers learned from the best.
Their shapeshifting skin is covered in rubber, and some portions can selectively grow when they receive air. The entire mechanism is inspired by the muscles of octopuses, and can easily blend it in an aquatic environment. Researchers created two materials, one that morphs into pebbles, and the other in the shape of a plant called Graptoveria amethorum.
This amazing technique can allow scientists to take a look at marine animals without disturbing their natural habitat and lifestyle, but it can also have other applications. It can be used in different fields as well, such as altering 3D displays. The study on the shapeshifting material has been published in the journal Science.