A southern black racer snake slithers across the rifle barrel held by junior Army National Guard sniper Pfc. William Snyder as he practices woodland stalking in a camouflaged ghillie suit at Eglin Air Force Base, April 7, 2018.

  • Militaries around the world use camouflage to evade detection by the enemy in all kinds of environments, from jungle and desert to city streets.
  • Avoiding detection is often a matter of life and death, and the patterns and colors are dictated by the environment where troops expect to operate.
  • Some work better than others, but all patterns are designed to help troops blend in with their surroundings.
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Desert camouflage

Desert camouflage has gone through a host of updates since the war in Iraq began, in an effort to make troops harder to spot in sandy and dusty environments there.

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US Marines wear a digital pattern with small pixels.

MARPAT, as the camo pattern is known, is widely viewed as one of the best concealment patterns because of the small, digitized pixels. 

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US and Romanian Army camouflage, pictured during an exercise in Poland, shows how different countries combine colors and patterns to blend with environments where they expect to operate.

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