Clever Ideas

Parking Ticket Vehicle Camoflage and Business Card Müllerian Mimicry

In camouflage, whether man-made or in nature, the idea is to disguise something as something else that is harmless or uninteresting. But there exists a kind of opposite in nature, Müllerian mimicry. This is when something tries to disguise itself as something more dangerous and visible. There are harmless snakes who have evolved to look very much like a poisonous variety, for example.

You may have heard previously of Telstar Logistics, a nonexistent company that is really just a scam to avoid parking tickets in loading zones. Todd Lappin camouflages his car as a fleet vehicle, to blend into its urban surroundings as a defense mechanism.

Well, today I came across a kind of flip side: Business Card Müllerian Mimicry.

The inventor displays this business card on his luggage while traveling when he doesn't want to be bothered. Quote: "It's amazing how often I get an empty seat next to me".