This video briefly explains the origins of some spectacular and unconventional seafaring camouflage, which, believe it or not, looked more like a Picasso painting than the muted, natural colors and shapes familiar from modern camouflage.
A marine artist named Norman Wilkinson first created crazy, complex, geometric patters and shapes that, when combined with the notoriously surreal optics of the ocean, created an illusion of almost nothing.
Originally, the purpose wasn't to make things (ships) blend in with their surroundings, but for the camouflage to make it difficult for the enemy to gauge the exact shape, location, which way it was facing, and distance of the ship in question.
WWII brought about radar technology, though, and the razzle-dazzle camouflage became less effective in misleading enemy ships. Instead, the more modern grey-blue camouflage took over as a better protection against kamikaze planes. Watch this video for more about the artistic evolution of naval camouflage!