What is it about cute animals that is so attractive to so many people? There is no denying that most people can not resist the appeal of cute and funny animals, whether it be in pictures, video clips or indeed the real thing. In fact, there is nothing new about this. Cute animals have always featured on birthday cards, wrapping paper, inspirational posters and chocolate boxes.
It is the arrival of the internet though, and particularly YouTube, that has facilitated an explosion in cute animals videos' popularity. There is something very attractive about the immediacy of being able to grab a video of a cute animal preferably doing something funny, like dropping off to sleep and then dropping off whatever piece of furniture that happens to be lying on!
If you look at which funny video clips have received the most hits on YouTube, then you will find a common theme running through them. What makes them funny is when we can recognize something of our own humanity in their behavior. This could be because they are perhaps displaying such human characteristics as foolishness, cleverness, playfulness, cunning, affection, even embarrassment. There is no documented proof that animals have the same motivations and emotions as us, but it is surely tempting and heart-warming to think that this is the case.
For example, anyone who has seen the sea otters in Vancouver Aquarium napping and holding hands as they float on their backs in their pool can not fail to think that their behavior is sweet. However, the idea that their presence is coincidental is completely dispelled when, having drifted apart, one of them steers his way back to the other and takes hold of her hand again. What was initially sweet behavior from these cutest animals becomes positively enchanting. Almost human.
There are numerous funny video clips of other otters doing what otters do so well – playing and socializing with each other. At zoos, you can see people watching with delight and in amazement as these adorable critters frolic and play with each other, while chirping and squealing. Then, there is always one otter which has to start playing with a pebble, tossing it up in the air, balancing it on its stomach and carrying it under one of its front legs. These animals are just like children demanding attention, crying for food and playing together.
You may also have seen the video of the moonwalking bird taken at a wildlife center in the UK. This clever flamingo seems that have found a unique way to help him stir up the mud in his pool to facilitate his feeding. The genius of this funny bird is that he looks like he is doing the Michael Jackson moonwalk! He leaves the other flamingoes standing as he glides back in the water.
There is no denying that we derive a lot of pleasure from watching cute and funny animals on video. It certainly seems as though the clips that are the most popular on YouTube are not only the ones of cute baby animals (which are good value in their own right), but also those videos in which the participants show the most human-like behavior, whatever it may be. Doubtless, their popularity will continue to grow.