Free the Ocean Blog

Nature's Masters of Disguise:

A hide and seek challenge

In the wild, standing out isn’t always a good thing. Across diverse landscapes, from the deepest oceans to the densest jungles, nature’s creatures have mastered the art of the stealthy vanishing act. On land, imagine a stick insect so convincingly twig-like that it fools not just predators but occasionally a bird looking for nesting materials! Meanwhile, beneath the waves, a fish blends seamlessly into the coral, waiting for the right moment to nab a passing snack.

But why this game of optical illusion? Simple: survival! For prey, it’s about avoiding becoming a tasty morsel, and for predators, it’s about sneaking up on their next meal. Ready for a challenge? Check out the gallery below and try to spot these sneaky species. Hint: It’s harder than you think!

Photo Credit: Tom Murphy, Nat Geo Image Collection

A crab spider is waiting to ambush its prey. These spiders change their color by molting to blend in with their surroundings.

Photo Credit: Jaime Culebras, Nat Geo Image Collection

A male reticulated glass frog is watching over his eggs while he hangs upside down on a leaf in Costa Rica.

Photo Credit: Peter R. Houlihan, Nat Geo Image Collection

Can you find the chameleon climbing this tree in Madagascar?

Photo Credit: Greg Lecoeur, Nat Geo Image Collection

The pygmy seahorse hides among the branches of a sea fan in Indonesia.

Photo Credit: Darlyne A. Murawski, Nat Geo Image Collection

In waters off the coast of Indonesia, the spindle cowry (a parasitic snail) matches its coral host.

Photo Credit: Peter R. Houlihan, Nat Geo Image Collection

The rare giant sphinx moth uses camouflage to rest up on a bald cypress tree at sunset.

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