Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Science of Cuteness, Pt. II

In January, I discussed advances in the science of cuteness. The scientific consensus is that being cute basically amounts to resembling babies. "Cute cues are those that indicate extreme youth, vulnerability, harmlessness and need," according to cuteness scientists (to be distinguished from cute scientists, whose number include Brian Greene, our own AH, and, uh, that's about it).

Well you can't get more young, vulnerable, harmless, or needy than this lil guy.

As Kantipur.com reports, a "neck-less baby with its head almost totally sunk into the upper part of the body and with extraordinarily large eyeballs literally popping out of the eye-sockets, was born to Nir Bahadur Karki and Suntali Karki at the Gaurishnkar Hospital in Charikot."

Small, flat nose: Check. Round body: check. Gigantic, forward-facing eyes: check. Wrinkled skin: check. Floppy, uncoordinated limbs: check.

Yet, cuteness, c'est lui?

I don't know about you, but my first reaction wasn't "aw," it was "aaaaahhh!" Is it possible our brains are hardwired to reject excessive cuteness?

More after the jump (with photos, not for the weak of heart)

To me, it looks like a puppet, not a real person, but according to commenters at the science blog Pharyngula, "Those photos aren't fake. I've got some medical embryology texts here with photos of anencephalics that have exactly the same pop-eyed muppet look."

Yes, Kermit the Frog. That's exactly who this cutie-patootie resembles. So why is this look adorable on a plush puppet but bone-chilling in the flesh?

(p.s. sorry for the generally poor taste of this post, but I'm, you know, exploring science)

Tags: culture, science


  • At 11:54 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    OMG you are so sick, do you just spend all your time surfing the web for freaks? You disgust me.

  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    (ha. extratextual background of that joke: AH was the person who originally sent me that link)


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