The Atlantic

Octopus-Inspired Material Can Change Its Texture

The U.S. Army is funding the creation of shape-shifting sheets that mimic the abilities of the ocean’s masters of camouflage.
Source: Ina Fassbender / Reuters

There’s a famous viral video in which a diver slowly swims up to a clump of rock and seaweed, only for part of that clump to turn white, open its eye, and jet away, squirting ink behind it. Few videos so dramatically illustrate an octopus’s mastery of camouflage. But ignore, if you can, the creature’s color, and focus on its . As its skin shifts from mottled brown to spectral white, it also goes from lumpy to smooth. In literally the blink of an eye,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic2 min read
Free Solo Is Not a Life Lesson
Alex Honnold’s historic climb is too extraordinary to become a story of motivational-poster determination.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Jay Inslee: ‘I Got a Whole Nother Story to Tell’
On Monday afternoon in the Everglades, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington was on a boat, using his phone to take a photo of an alligator. He was on his way to unveil his latest 2020 campaign initiative: a plan to completely end America’s use of fossil
The Atlantic6 min read
What the Iran Crisis Reveals About European Power
Donald Trump is forcing Europe to confront its own weakness. The U.S. president’s bellicose policy toward Iran has, until now, been met with an unusual unity of opposition from Europe’s big three powers, the U.K., France, and Germany, as well as from