When Bored Panda compiled a list on accidental camouflage 5 years ago, we didn't know the Internet's craze over it was just the beginning.
As of January 2017, there's even a subreddit of the same name. It's neither big nor small—the subreddit has 237,000 members. Yes, it doesn't get a ton of submissions but the important thing is quality, not quantity, right? And r/AccidentalCamouflage is full of it.
You've got people's pants blending in with their surroundings, a parrot masquerading as an avocado, you know, the good stuff!
Reddit user u/DionStabber, one of the moderators of r/AccidentalCamouflage, said that a lot of people love to post their dogs and cats blending in with things in the house. "Often, the camouflage isn't even that convincing, but I think people just like seeing cats and dogs online, it's classic fun Internet content," they told Bored Panda. "You also see people posting things they accidentally lost on a similar surface, like their phones on carpet, iPads on car seats, or clothes on rugs, those ones are always funny."
Speaking of carpet, the Portland International Airport was one of the places where people would (accidentally) camouflage themselves quite often. To reduce the amount of noise created by people walking across the hard terminal floors, the Port of Portland contracted SRG Partnership to design a new carpet for PDX in 1987.
The SRG principal and co-designer of the carpet, John Schleuning, visited several airports before deciding how to create the carpet. SRG steered away from the earth tones traditionally used by airports in the 1980s, incorporating blue and green into their design early on and hoping to evoke "northwest to the core."
Its pattern featured geometric shapes on a teal background, an abstract depiction of the intersecting north and south runways seen by air traffic controllers from the airport's tower at night. Several acres of carpet was installed by the early 1990s.
As time went by, the carpet gained a cult following and even spawned multiple social media accounts. As of this article, more than 115,000 pictures were posted under its hashtag, #pdxcarpet, on Instagram.
My Shirt Does A Fine Job Blending Me In This Bed Of Flowers
The original carpet design was positively received by both Portland residents and airport visitors, eventually reaching "local icon" status. Its pattern was used on a variety of products, including bicycle helmets, socks, and T-shirts. Sometimes people would get one of these items without knowing what it was inspired by, only to enter the airport and discover it for themselves.
But sadly, all good things come to an end. A $13 million replacement of the airport's carpet was announced in 2013, causing a huge stir online that was picked up by local and national media outlets. The Port of Portland also received a large number of comments from local residents who were concerned about the original carpet's future.
Yes, My Dad Is In The Picture Even Though It Looks Like He's Part Of The Painting
Annie Linstrom, a spokesperson for the port district, confirmed they were investigating recycling options and considering giving away portions of the carpet to locals as keepsakes. She also said that the Port of Portland "understand[s] that people have an emotional connection to the carpet."
The removal of the nearly-30-year-old carpet finally began in January 2015, in front of a crowd of airport employees and the media. The Port of Portland's chief operating officer said: "Normally, we do these ribbon cuttings when we’re introducing a new thing, but it's actually the reverse of that in removing the old carpet. We're going to miss the carpet and we appreciate the community and the love of this carpet."
Spent Half An Hour Unsuccessfully Looking For My Sweatshirt
Invisible Man In The Suit
I Thought The Chair Was Broken
DionStabber doesn't think they would look specifically to a certain texture or thing to determine what provides the best camouflage. "The best posts often come from not only the objects having similar colors to their backgrounds but also the lighting and composition of the shot being just right," they explained. "Sometimes, two similar camouflages can be posted where one is received really well and the other gets very little attention, and I really think it comes down to those minor factors aligning just right so your brain skips over the object in your field of view, even if it doesn't look technically that similar when you zoom in or pay close attention."
Marble Floor Probably Wasn't The Best Idea
When You Have To Go To A Public Event, But You Still Don't Wanna Be Seen
My Coffee+milk Had The Same Shade Of Brown As My Mug This Morning
Upon a first glance, an outsider might think the subreddit doesn't get that many posts. But the moderator said that's not necessarily the case. "Firstly, there are probably more people trying to post than you imagine, but they end up breaking the rules and getting their posts removed," DionStabber pointed out. "I try to be extremely lenient with the rules, but there is a lot of content from people just completely misunderstanding the concept of the subreddit or posting camouflage in the literal, intentional sense that I have to remove from the sub to have any bar for quality. In that sense, I guess I maintain a quality over quantity approach, to some extent."
Bock, Bock, Bock... Bark!
A local farm where I live had trouble with their flock all wanting to sleep in the same house, each night they have to go break them up. The other night they found their dog had joined in.
However, the fact people still frequent the sub just goes to show the role it plays in its users' lives—that is to say, not a big one. "I imagine that most of the subscribers see a post from here come onto their front page every once in a blue moon and have a quick smile at some amazing coincidental patterns or funny hidden pet, but not many people actively spend time browsing the subreddit or contributing content," DionStabber said.
"This is backed up by data: if you look at the number of users online on the subreddit at any given point in time, it's rarely above 200, and it dips below 100 [quite often]. This is an extremely small percentage of the 240k subscriber base."
Outstanding Camouflage Of Owls
"If you compare these numbers to a similar sized subreddit (by subscribers) r/EliteDangerous (a subreddit for a video game, that usually has thousands of members online; and there are many subreddits proportionately even more active than that), [it becomes clear that] r/AccidentalCamouflage is just a bit of fun that almost anyone can enjoy for a couple of minutes ... and I think there's nothing wrong with that! I'm glad so many people find the posts a bit of fun."
"I'm amazed at how many subscribers this subreddit got," DionStabber added. "I've been here since the very beginning and it's been crazy seeing it go from a couple of subscribers to something that gets referenced on mainstream Reddit threads. Shoutout to my friend u/AlcoholicUnclePete for dreaming the whole thing up, he's off doing other stuff on a different account now but without him, none of this would exist. I'd recommend anyone that thinks r/AccidentalCamouflage sounds like fun to check it out and have a quick scroll, it might just put a smile on your face!"
So I Turned Up At My Brother's New House And I'm Dressed As His Sofa
In the wild, camouflage, (also known ascryptic coloration) is a defense mechanism or tactic that organisms use to disguise their appearance, usually to blend in with their surroundings. Organisms use camouflage to conceal their location, identity, and movement.
This allows prey to avoid predators but also helps predators to sneak up on prey.
The look of a particular species' camouflage depends on several factors. For example, animals with fur rely on different camouflage tactics than those with feathers or scales. Feathers and scales can be shed and changed fairly regularly and quickly. Fur, on the other hand, can take weeks or even months to grow in. So animals with fur are more often camouflaged by season. The arctic fox, for instance, has a white coat in the winter, while its summer coat is brown.
The same laws might not apply to accidental camouflage, but it sure is as (if not more) impressive!