Dazzle Camouflage was used during WWI and II on American Navy ships. After realizing they had no way of hiding their boats in open water, the Navy was all, "they'll never expect this shit," and painted them up all crazy like. The plan was to use these wacky lines and contrasting colors to make it difficult to pinpoint the ships' direction and speed. Confusion rather than concealment.
Ultimately, the ruse proved pointless as the ships still seemed to explode once enemy forces fired torpedoes at them.