I just fell over this gem of a figure reference system in the Danish on train magazine "ud & Se" (out and watch), and I wondered if there was a way of doing it in LaTeX.
The idea is, that instead of using a caption, and reference by number, the text referencing a figure will be emphasized (bold, underlined or both) and an arrow will be drawn from the bottom center of the text to the figure.
The arrow can be either curved (as in the picture below) or move in cardinal directions, if the latter is the case, the arrow should avoid text while moving horizontally, but collide with text when moving vertically (at least that's what the magazines do)
I guess the way to do this in LaTeX would be something like overlaying a tikzpicture which has both the figure and the reference, and then drawing an arrow, but I don't really know anything further than that.
I realize that the feature is mostly useless, but it would be fun for gags (I can see it used in my student magazine as a joke)