Can You Spot What’s Camouflaged? Take a Look at the Best Photos of Animals Playing Hide and Seek

Thu Mar 18 2021

Some of the best camouflage that the world has ever seen comes straight from the animal kingdom. Sometimes it’s driven by natural selection, and other times it happens totally by chance. Either way, we’ve compiled a list of the most amazing photos of creatures hiding in plain sight.

From complex color combinations to unusual textures, these animals are mastering the art of deception. Take a look at the cunning creatures hiding perfectly among inanimate objects and landscapes. But be warned – you might not be able to spot all of them unless you look very closely.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

We’re amazed at how well this bird camouflages to its environment. What looks like a silvery grey tree stump at first comes to surprise you as you realize a huge Australian bird species is perched right on top. But did you notice that it wasn’t alone up there?

Right underneath the big bird is a tiny little chick who equally blends into its environment! This species is called the tawny frogmouths, which the Australian Reptile Park describes as having “silvery-grey plumage streaked with black and brown” and “mottled with flecks of rusty brown and white.”

In the centre of the photo rests a mother frogmouth bird on a log, with her chick nestled beneath her.

As Snug as a Bug in a Rug

First of all, the proud owner of this dog blanket deserves our utmost respect. Secondly, try to find the real dog in the photo – we swear he’s there. We wish we could simply say that one isn’t like the other – but with so many different-looking dogs on the blanket pattern, it wouldn’t really make sense.

For those who haven’t spotted it, look to the bottom of the photo. This pup is so perfectly camouflaged in the blanket, and he probably has no idea. Interestingly, he’s not even the same color of brown as much of the blanket is. But his mix of dark and light-colored fur totally gets swallowed up by the fabric. It’s a perfect resting place for when he just wants some alone time.

In the centre at the far bottom of the photo, you can spot the head of a black and white dog.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

This snow-topped forest is home to some well-camouflaged animals. One of which is the western roe deer, seen here hiding in the trees. The trees may have lost their leaves, but these deer are perfectly capable of sheltering amidst the brown branches. On the left, we can see a fully grown adult deer, and on their right, there’s a younger fawn.

In fact, this may be the mom and her growing child. But you might not have spotted the other deer on the far right, peeking through the twigs. Perfect camoflage is just what these deers need in the middle of winter, to hide form their predators.

Behind the trees on the left and in the center, there are two deer.

Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer

At first glance, this picture doesn’t look very extraordinary. A cute old dog has claimed an armchair and found a way to squeeze himself into the one-seater space. But if you look a little closer at the pup’s body, you can see something else entirely accompanying him on the chair.

That’s right – a cat is sleeping on the hind legs of the big dog! You wouldn’t have thought that either of them is very comfortable, but they’d beg to differ. This cat blends in perfectly with the canine’s fur, as they both sport coats of cream and brown. Even the patterns of color are similar to each other.

In the center of the photo, a cat lies across the dog’s body.

You Look as Though You’ve Seen a Ghost

This one can easily get underfoot. There’s a ghost mantis in this picture; a praying mantis species that is specific to the African continent and has evolved the most incredible camouflage to its surroundings. No doubt, it’s hard for the predators to spot it on the ground.

Not only does this ghost mantis resemble a dried-up old leaf in color, but also in texture and pattern. As we can see, the intricate veining across its body resembles the veining you would find on a fallen leaf. Not only that, but these insects make a swaying motion that mimics leaving blowing in the wind.

The ghost mantis is stretched across the legnth of the photo, with its head on the right hand side.

Pull the Rug Out From Under Them

Can you spot the kitty in the large graphic rug? Amongst the bold black, white, and red patterns is a cat who’s found the perfect camouflage right in his home. Hiding in plain sight, we reckon this cat still feels exposed as they have to sit right in the middle of the room.

In case you didn’t spot the kitty, it’s in the top left-hand corner of the carpet. It doesn’t have any red spots, but it doesn’t have to have them. The black and white patches in its fur make it very hard to distinguish among the floor’s contrasting patterns. Which, naturally, could be hazardous for people and felines alike.

A cat lies on the patterened rug in the top left hand corner.

You’re Barking up the Wrong Tree!

The leaf-tailed gecko is quite unique. It is only found in Madagascar and relies on its natural camouflage to catch prey and hide from predators. As we can see, this gecko blends in perfectly to the rough tree trunk surface. But they can appear in a ton of other colors, like purple, orange, yellow or black.

Of course, they also have peculiar leaf-shaped tails, which camouflages them all the better. The only thing that makes this gecko stand out is its huge yellow eyes. Geckos don’t have eyelids and instead possess a clear film over their eyes for protection. Their long tongues reach up and clean the eyes of any debris.

A gecko lies flat across the tree trunk, with its head pointing down.

Sleeping Like a Log, Literally

All this firewood has been chopped and neatly stacked, but there’s something among them that shouldn’t really be there. There’s a sleeping cat in the photo that happens to be the exact same color as the inner tree bark, and it can be easily missed.

Lying on the top of the central woodpile is a sandy-colored cat that takes up the length of the chopped log. This feline blends in so well that it’s pretty hard to spot. Hopefully, it won’t be sleeping there for long; otherwise, it might just get chucked in a fireplace!

In the center of the photo, a blonde cat sleeps at the top of a log pile.

Don’t Let the Cat Out of the Bag

This is one of the smartest animal camouflages we’ve ever seen. In this photo we can see a fluffy white cat that bounces the light off of its fur. It’s dark in this room as it’s dimly lit, meaning there shadows all over the place. It’s so dark you may have assumed that you can see the white cat’s shadow.

In fact, another cat is sitting next to him! The black cat is such an expert in camouflage that he can disguise himself as the white cat’s shadow. Hiding yourself in plain sight like this is definitely for the pros. Even we have to admit; this black cat’s a step above the rest.

The shadow of the white cat is actually a black cat.

He That Would Eat the Fruit Must Climb the Tree

We would have never spotted this little frog if we were out walking in the woods. This grey treefrog has the perfect disguise to maximize its chances of not being eaten. It matches the color, pattern, and texture of a great big tree so that no one should see it.

And we must say, it does an excellent job at mimicking the tree bark. Their colors vary from grey to green or brown and have a detailed mottling pattern in shades of white and black. During the breeding season, their green colors show more – possibly to attract a mate’s attention.

In the center of the photo, a grey treefrog holds on to the trunk of the tree with its face pointing up.

Golden Plover Hatchlings Aren’t Mossing About

Behold the glorious Golden Plover chick, pictured on the right-hand side of a man’s hand. This beautiful bird has the best camouflage from the moment it hatches through its unusual fur color and pattern. Imagine grabbing a handful of moss, only to discover it squawking at you.

Golden Plover chicks have a mix of green and black fluffy feathers, making it easy for them to blend in with the mossy Arctic nesting sites in which they are born. Unfortunately, in nesting areas that humans frequent, these little guys are at risk of being stepped on.

On the right hand side of the hand lies a fluffy Golden Plover chick with its head pointed up.

They’re Hiding in (Forest) Plain Sight

Snakes are known for being masters of camouflage. And the snake in this picture certainly proves that point. See if you can spot the reptile slithering along the bumpy terrain. Because it’s one of those things that once you see, you can never unsee.

Stretching from the top left-hand corner of the photo to the bottom right, this well-hidden snake has orange/yellow tones and black spots to make it blend in among the forest floor. You can imagine that being out in the wild, these snakes pose a serious threat to people as they’re easily missed.

From the top left hand corner to the bottom right hand corner lies a snake, with its head near the bottom.

In the Dead of Winter Something Lurks

Not all wolves are grey. In the picture below, there’s a wolf camouflaged in the snowy treescape, and it can be pretty hard to find. And this is just looking at a still photo. Imagine how hard it must be to spot a wolf in person, with trees swaying and rustling all around you?

The wolf in question (pictured in the center of the image) has red and white fur, making it hard to distinguish here. You probably thought a ginger wolf would stand out like a sore thumb, but you’d be sorely mistaken. Its reddish tones blend in perfectly with the wintery landscape.

In the center of the image stands a wolf who is half obscured by the shrubbery.

The Runt of the Pomeranian Litter

This adorable litter of Pomeranian puppies isn’t quite what it seems. The little fur-ball in the middle is the only one that isn’t a stuffed toy, but it could take a minute to realize. When pictured among a sea of Pomeranian Beanie Babies, it’s easy to overlook which one of them is actually real.

Even though this is a staged photo, we absolutely love the result. It says a lot about how the Nordic dog breed really looks in real life. They typically stand at around seven to 12 inches tall, making them all too easy to mistake for a plush toy. Beware of children playing with them.

In the center of the image, a Pomeranian puppy pokes his head out.

I Must Love You and Leaf You

Toads come in all different colors, and there’s huge variation among them – even among those of the same species. In the picture below, we can see three toads that have completely different colors. One is mostly yellow; one is mostly grey, and another mostly red.

But these three leaf-litter toads were found only a few yards of each other despite their varied appearances. That’s because, in Panama, where these guys are from, there are a variety of colors present on the forest floors. Therefore it’s in the species’ best interest to appear in a variety of shades and tones.

In the top of the photo lies a dark grey toad, on the left lies a yellow toad, and on the right lies a red toad.

A Hide and Seek Champion Like No Other

This ginger cat is suspiciously similar to the color and pattern on the wooden floorboards. It might take a second for you to see it, but we assure you it’s there. This fur baby is perfectly concealed when it’s just lounging around at home, and it doesn’t take much to imagine accidentally tripping over him.

Not only is this cat the same vibrant red color as the stained red cedar, but it has a similar pattern on its back and legs to that found in the wood grain. If you look carefully, you can see lighter swirls in the cat’s fur coat that mimic the lighter swirls in the floorboards. Truly a strange coincidence.

In the center of the photo rests a ginger kitten, with its head at the top of the image.

Not Be the Only Pebble on the Beach

We know that many of you out there aren’t the biggest fan of bugs, but this one really does deserve special mention. After all, it’s managed to locate an environment in which it’s incredibly hard to find him – which is just perfect for hiding from its predators. It’s hard to say exactly what color this little creepy crawly is, as it’s made up of so many.

There are greys, whites, and blacks mixed with other warm tones like orange and brown. All of which are colors you can find in the pebble floor beneath him. The only problem is, he blends in so well someone might accidentally step on him.

In the center of the photo stands an insect, with its head facing left.

Who Needs a Foot Stool

Now this camouflage could actually be super hazardous for the dog in question. Look closer, and you’ll see a sleeping pup on the white rug lying by the legs of the coffee table. It would be the easiest thing in the world to accidentally step on him, not even realizing he was there, to begin with.

Of course, once the owner realized how much their pet matched with the carpet, they just had to take a picture. Maybe this pup acts as a foot warmer if you wiggle your toes underneath him. Then you’d have soft fur both underneath and on top of you.

Across the right of the photo lies a white dog, with its head facing the top.

The Perfect Partner to Cuddle up With

This cute bunny rabbit looks like it has the softest fur – if only we could pet him. That being said, he has some competition with the fur throw he’s sitting on, which has exactly the same colors. Both the blanket and the bunny are cream-colored with black and brown spots.

And even the fur texture looks as if it’s exactly the same. We wonder if this what came first in this scenario – the bunny or the blanket? Did the owner purchase this throw because of how similar it was to their bunny friend, or was the blanket here first?

In the center of the photo you can see a rabbits head.

You’re the Yin To My Yang

This dog owner couldn’t help but stop and stare at the bizarre coincidence he found when walking his pups. Naturally, he took a photo of the freak happening, and we’re glad he did. One of his dogs is sandy in color, and the other is darker and greyer. And they just so happen to be walking along a path that shares their distinctive fur color tones.

The reason these dogs blend so well into their environment is in part due to their mottled fur patterns. Neither pup is purely one color, but rather each is made up of different colored strands. The beige dog actually has white and sandy fur, and the grey dog has a mix of black and white. Just like the gravel paths beneath them, they are made up of different colors that come together as a whole.

On the left stands a dog with beige fur, and on the right stands a stands a dog with black fur and white fur.

An Ingenius Caramel Camouflage

What better way to celebrate your dog’s beautiful coat pattern than to buy them a dog bed with exactly the same colors and textures? This caramel-brown pup has been gifted a matching cozy dog-bed for the living room – and he’s extremely happy about it. Now, he can feel like one with his comfortable bed.

We wonder if he’s even aware of how much the bed matches his own fur. Does he know that he becomes hard to see when he lies on it, or is he blissfully unaware? Either way, we think this monochromatic look is an amusing and playful touch to the décor, whether or not the good boy knows it.

Across the center of the photo is dog lying on its back, with its head at the bottom.

It’s Not as Deserted as It Looks Here

There’s one animal that has the most impressive camouflage out of all the creatures in the animal kingdom. Try to find the little dessert-bound creature who camouflages perfectly with the sandy rocks. It’s exactly the same color and texture as the environment it lives in.

The creature in the middle is a desert lizard, which has a light skin tone that helps it conceal itself from prey and predators alike. But it also aids in keeping the lizard cool under the sweltering sun. Light colors like this reflect most of the visible wavelengths, which means less heat will be absorbed.

In the center of the image rests a sand colored lizard, with its head facing up.

Changing With the Tides

We’re not surprised this lizard feels so at home in a tree tops’ branches. It can turn itself a myriad of colors, which means that sometimes they end up mimicking their surroundings. In this instance, the lizard has transformed into a bright green mixed with pale yellow, giving it a realistic leafy appearance.

Even the chameleon’s eyes have adjusted in color, so it’s tough for predators to spot them in the wild. But of course, chameleons can turn all sorts of colors. Tiny sacs within their cells hold the various shifting pigments, which are thought to change depending on the lizard’s mood and body temperature.

In the top-left of the photo rests a chameleon on the branch, with its head facing right.

A Soft Spot for Soft Spots

Everyone loves Dalmatians for their unique black and white fur pattern. But those iconic black spots only develop with time, as Dalmatian newborns are completely white. Originally, they were hunting or carriage dogs, but now they’re so much more. Originating from Croatia, they have a muscular build and exceptional stamina.

They almost always stand out in every situation. That is until you take them for a walk on snow-topped hills. This Dalmatian blends in so seamlessly to his environment that if it weren’t for the collar and harness, we wouldn’t be able to see him at all. Dalmatians truly are perfectly camouflaged when it’s frosty.

In the center of the photo there is a spotted dalmation, with its head facing right.

As Well Hidden as a Trojan Horse

Horses come in all sorts of colors. There’s black, brown, piebald, bay, chestnut, buckskin, and cremello – along with several more. This particular pony has a dappled coat pattern in white and grey shades, and that makes it blend in with the wintery landscape. Concentric circles on a horse’s coat are a fairly common occurence.

If you stumbled upon this scene in a forest, you would hardly even spot the horse. Its grey spots blend in with the tree trunks and branches as does its white coat, which matches with the snow-topped landscape. But whether a horse has a dappled coat or not largely comes down to genetics.

In the center of the photo stands a mottled white horse, with its head on the left hand side.

Beware of Creatures Hiding in the Linen Closet

This adorable Shar-Pei puppy has found itself camouflaging not with the wild outdoors but something in the house. It rests its head on a rolled-up blanket, and it’s hard not to notice the similarities. This Shar-Pei has several folds and wrinkles in its short-fur coat, just like fabric.

Originating from south China, the Shar-Pei breed is known internationally for its unusual and excessive loose skin. Even though it looks totally adorable on them, their deep-set wrinkles can cause several skin and health problems later in life.

Across the length of the photo lies a Shar-Pei dog, with its head in the foreground.

This Canine’s Accidental Camouflage

This dog found a place to camouflage half of its body, making it look as though its head and back are just floating around. If it wasn’t for his gorgeous chocolate-colored head and body or the neon orange collar, the owner might have lost him on the walk.

This pup doesn’t really share a lot of the tones you find in this rocky path. But the mottled brown and white fur pattern creates a confusion of patterns and ultimately blends in well. We love when people just stumble upon these accidental coincidences.

In the center of the photo stands a brown and mottled dog, with its head facing left.

A Master Fort-Builder

This adorable pupper has become one with his owner’s blanket. The snow-white fur is the same frosty color as the fur throw, making it hard to know when the puppy ends and the blanket begins. We can imagine that this could be quite the hazard at home – it would be incredibly easy not to see the dog lying underneath and just take a seat on top!

What’s going on inside the puppy’s mind? No one can know for sure. But we suspect this little guy is doing the equivalent of a child building themselves a little fort – only this dog-fort is entirely monochromatic with the rest of him. Perhaps, he’s trying to appear a lot bigger than he really is.

In the center of the photo pokes a small dogs head, underneath the white blanket.

Look Out for Trees With Eyes

This owl really does have a masterful camouflage with the trunk of a tree. Somehow, the feathers on its body resemble the grains and sinews of tree bark, making him hard to see for prey and humans alike. This really is quite surprising, as we’re looking at two completely different textures. Who would have guessed?

In fact, if it wasn’t for his big brown eyes, we might not have been able to spot him at all. Even his beak is pressed flat against his nose so as not to bring any attention. A picture like this really shows how perfectly the natural world has adapted to survive. With such a seamless camouflage, their prey hardly stands a chance.

In the center of the photo hides a brown owl, with its head at the top.