Approaching this project, I definitely did not realize that there were so many different aspects of camouflaging in the wild. I learned about blending in with the background (counter-shading, using similar colours and/or textures), zebra-style shape reductions, mimicry (like butterfly eyes), and alerts (being brightly coloured to indicate poison).
Out of everything that I found, I decided to focus on mimicry, specifically, the mimicry of notorious predators.
We see this in nature occasionally, but my favourite instance is that of the coral snake and the scarlet king snake.
The coral snake is a venomous snake with black, yellow, and red stripes.
The scarlet king snake is not venomous at all, and it also has black, yellow, and red stripes (although in a different order than those of the coral snake).
As you may have noticed, the king snake has markings that are strikingly similar to the coral snake. The king snake tries to fool potential predators by imitating the dangerous coral snake. If an animal knows that coral snakes are dangerous, and saw the scarlet king snake, it might mistake it for the coral snake and back off.
And so the king snake gets to see another day…
I thought to myself: Who could I mimic that I somewhat resembled whom everyone would know?
None other than Ella! 😊
I had this incredible scenario lined up in my head: I show up on Friday, the last day of class, and surprise Ella with my fantastic resemblance. Heck, it would be like looking in a mirror (just kidding).
Unfortunately, I had a mid-progress crit to do, and I did not want to blow my cover, so I had to come up with an elaborate scheme to still get credit for the crit. The crit went well, and I think Ella unsuspected my devious plan…
Anyways, I had a lot of fun running around downtown trying to find everything to get a perfect Ella-outfit figured out. It was difficult to find something for the top layer! I was looking for either something like her yellow coat, orange jacket, animal print jacket, or faded denim shirt. At Value Village I managed to find a denim shirt, but had to bleach it to make it look faded, like Ella’s.
I even found a gold watch!
Black jumpsuit + black clogs + rolled up faded denim shirt + glasses + gold watch + fun socks + blonde hair + middle part = a disguise for one incredible Ella!