Whenever I did something wrong as a little girl, I thought I had a surefire way of escaping my parents.
I would hide behind a large potted plant we had and close my eyes.
Somehow, I thought that my parents wouldn’t be able to see me if I did this. Unfortunately for me, their eyesight was a bit better than I’d bargained on.
If you look at the natural world, you’ll find that I’m not the only one who often thinks they can’t be seen.
Take the blue tang fish, made famous by its cartoon equivalent in the Pixar movies “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory.”
Like a few other reef fish, this aquatic animal is blue and yellow. To other fish and to its predators, the blue tang is perfectly camouflaged. To them, its yellow markings seem to disappear against similarly coloured corals, and its blue body blends in with the shade of the water.
There’s only one problem:
To snorkelling humans, the blue tang sticks out like a sore thumb. Far from being camouflaged, this fish’s dramatic colours are incredibly conspicuous to our eyes. Why is that?
It’s because our eyesight is very different from that of undersea creatures. The particular trio of cones in human vision is especially good at discriminating blues and yellows.
So what is hidden to other fish is glaringly obvious to us.
I think God’s “eyesight” works in a similar fashion.
If you’re out for a walk in nature, you may not realize how much you’re being tricked.
You may think you’ve got an accurate picture of the natural world around you, but in many cases, you’re being fooled.
That’s because some creatures are masters of deception.
Stick insects camouflage themselves by mimicking the shape and colour of twigs on a tree. Moths may blend in so well with the bark pattern of the tree they’re resting on that you’d never know they’re there.
The killdeer bird fakes having a broken wing to make a predator think she will be an easy meal, thereby luring it away from the vulnerable chicks in her nest. Then she suddenly flies away, to the surprise of the predator.
Even beautiful butterflies get in on the act of trickery. Some species have markings on their wings that look like huge eyes. The eyespots may discourage a predator from attacking by making it think the insect is in fact a much larger animal.
These false eyes may serve another purpose: to encourage an attacker to aim for the wrong target. The markings deflect an attack away from the butterfly’s head or body to parts less vital for survival, such as its wing margins. By using this deception, the butterfly outwits its enemies and is able to fly away with a torn wing at worst, but otherwise relatively unscathed.
Butterflies aren’t the only creatures to use misdirection in this way:
Satan does, too, and we need to be wise to his tactics. We may not realize how much he’s tricking us.