Kit Steinkellner
September 06, 2015 9:30 am

It’s basically human nature to be obsessed with cute animals. A group of scientists on social media have taken that obsession to the next level. As Slate reports, two researchers at Virginia Tech, Anne Hillborn and Marcella Kelly have started a huge feud on social media, in which scientists try to up each other re: who is researching the cutest animals. The participating scientists have dubbed their most adorable internet war the #cuteoff.

Some of these submissions are pretty obvi:

Other submissions were a little more outside the box:

Of course, just as adorable as these animals themselves are the scientists who research them and fiercely defend their research subjects’ inherent cuteness. We’ll admit, some of these scientists have turned our brains around, and helped us to expand our definition of what it means to be a cute creature (we will never look at fuzzy slugs the same way again). Here’s to scientists using the power of social media to help us appreciate the wonder, the majesty, and the sheer adorableness of the animal kingdom.

Related:

Just some animals looking very, very cozy

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