Debazzled: a blue and black ship, dressed to deceive

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The blue and black dress that “melted the Internet” is thought to have done so because its perceived color depended on people using different prior assumptions about discounting the illuminant. However, this is not the first monochromatic object to have confused the public. For a brief period during WWI, RMS Mauretania was dressed in (dazzle) camouflage shades of blue and black/grey, yet she is sometimes depicted by artists, modelers, and historians in a much showier dress of red, blue, yellow, green, and black. I raise the possibility that this originates from a case of public deception deriving from the momentary misperception of a playful artist who neglected to discount the illuminant, propagating the most (perhaps only) successful application of dazzle camouflage known.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright is retained by the author(s) of this article. This open-access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Licence (, which permits commercial use, distribution, adaption, and reproduction, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


  • blue and black dress
  • dazzle camouflage
  • discounting the illuminant
  • cubism
  • WWI
  • World War I
  • sunset
  • sundown
  • razzle dazzle
  • painting
  • misperception of color
  • abstract
  • color constancy
  • expressionist art


Dive into the research topics of 'Debazzled: a blue and black ship, dressed to deceive'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this