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We Want To Smush Cute Animals, Because Science

We Want To Smush Cute Animals, Because Science

Alright, admit it, you bunch of maniacs: you totally just looked at the picture above and wanted to squeeze the bejeezus out of that fuzzy little guy. Right?

I mean, like, squeeze the life out of him, to the point where you're clenching your teeth, biting your lips, and maybe even balling up your hands into tiny tremulous fists with the sheer desire to hug it and love it and maybe even somehow put it inside of your body... and even though you would never actually crush a puppy to death with the force of your affections, you also kind of understand how Lenny the gentle giant from Of Mice and Men reached that unfortunate moment, because GAAAAAH THEY'RE SO CUTE I CAN'T STAND IT.

Anyway, don't worry: it's normal! And science has finally sought to explain why we get the overwhelming urge to squish and/or eat adorable things, a phenomenon they're calling "cute aggression". Rebecca Dyer, the Yale graduate student in charge of the study, posited that fuzzy-wuzzy baby animals inspire "almost a sense of lost control": one of her theories is that looking at pictures of cute things triggers a desire to care for them, which in turn leads to frustration at being unable to actually touch and/or love the creature in question. (FACT: study subjects who were given a piece of bubble wrap, and then shown pictures of cute animals, showed signs of cute aggression by popping more bubbles than those who were shown non-adorable animal photos.) (OTHER FACT: More studies should involve bubble wrap.)

Alas, though the study confirmed that wanting to give squeezies to all the cute things is pretty much universal, there was no advice on how to escape these urges. So until they come up with a pill to combat cute aggression, I guess we'll all just have to use all our powers of self-control to continue not nomming baby bunnies to death. Ugh. DIFFICULT.

Do you get cute aggression?

Topics: Life
Tags: science, puppies, kitties, cute things

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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