War is hell, but as we've demonstrated previously (twice, even), it's also often bizarre to look at. When you start sifting through rare photos of secret projects and behind-the-scenes shenanigans that didn't make into the history books, you get lots of pictures that just look downright fake. Like ...
Before the invention of radar, naval battles were like a hardcore version of Marco Polo: Each side blindly lobbed shots at the other in hopes of connecting with something (yes, the board game Battleship was actually a fairly realistic representation). So ships of the early 20th century tried to make it even harder for their opponents by blending into the water with light-colored paint schemes. That is, until the British decided to try something a little ... different.
"Now you too can experience the joys of sea sickness without having to set foot on a boat!"
Called "dazzle" camouflage, the idea was to cover the ships in psychedelic designs that made it damn nigh impossible for an enemy spotter to determine speed, distance, and type of craft when spying the ships from afar. Try to stare hard at one of these -- your brain will start to hurt:
Getty via economist.com
It's like nautical Magic Eye.
The camouflage saw widespread use during World War I and (to a lesser degree) World War II, but it ultimately died out when the introduction of LSD allowed enemy spotters to operate on the same plane of consciousness as those creating the designs.