It’s cute when animals think they’re people, hopping in front of your computer or watching the television with rapt interest. But when an animal’s face actually resembles a person’s, the effect can be pretty creepy.
Chantal Desjardin shared a photo of her dogs on Facebook, and one of her friends pointed out something she had never noticed before. Yogi, her 1-year-old Shih-poo, has an incredibly human-like face, with striking soulful eyes. One friend commented, “The one on the left looks like a man and I can’t stop staring.” In the replies, her friends freaked out, debating whether or not the image had been Photoshopped, or put through a ‘face swap’ filter. But Chantal says the pictures have “not been Photoshopped at all.”
Chantal’s “friend’s brother” uploaded the photo to Reddit, where it went viral, getting over 19,000 upvotes. In the comments, everyone agreed the dog’s bizarre, human-like features were uniquely captivating. Yogi’s not just a good boy. He’s a good man. It’s cute, but unsettling, producing an “uncanny valley” effect. (The uncanny valley concept describes our strange revulsion to things that appear almost, but not exactly like real human beings.)
“Wtf he has the most human eyes I’ve seen on a dog”
“This is the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen”
“the more i stare at the dog the more I’m seeing my own face….this is creeping me out… like looking into my soul weird”
“I laughed, then I got uncomfortable, now I’m rocking back and forth desperately trying to convince myself it’s just a face swap”
“It looks like Nicolas Cage dressed as an Ewok.”
alt Credit: Chantal Desjardin
Yogi’s features look especially human in the photo next to Chantal’s other dog, Darla, an 8-year-old Shih Tzu. Darla looks like she wants to play fetch, while Yogi looks like he just got back from a long day at the office. “Yogi” is an appropriate name, though, since of the definitions is “a markedly reflective or mystical person.” And another definition of ‘yogi’ is “a person who practices yoga.” I would not be surprised if that dog did yoga.
Dog human Face Credit: Chantal Desjardin
In an interview, Chantal said that although Yogi looks stoic in the photos, he’s actually a “hyper puppy” who “always wants to cuddle and play.” Many people have called the dog creepy, due to its “uncanine valley effect,” but she just sees him as cute. And now he’s famous. Maybe Yogi will become the next celebrity animal, like Lil’ Bub, a cat that was born with a multitude of a genetic anomalies and will remain kitten-sized for the rest of her life. After her photos went viral, Lil Bub appeared on TV shows, was featured in a documentary and even starred in a video game. (Not to mention all the merchandise.) Well, if Yogi gets famous, he definitely looks mature enough to handle it.
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