Now you will understand why your Facebook feed is full of videos and photos of puppies and kittens. Believe it or not, there is scientific evidence from psychological research that looking at cute pics of animals make us happy, and also apparently more productive at work (now you have the excuse for next time your boss catches you watching how a hamster eats a carrot under a blanket). In fact, studies have found that the pleasure centers on our brain light up when we see photos of cute animals because there is a flow of dopamine to the brain.

As part of a research carried out by Coca-Cola for its “Choose Happiness” campaign, people were shown a series of photos of animals and they had to vote for “the happiest picture” or the one that put the biggest smile on their faces. The result showed that people prefer photos of cute animals, and even more so if they are doing something unusual or surprising. The winner was this pic of a squirrel interfering spontaneously in a photo a couple was taking of themselves.

squirrel

Photo credit: independet.co.uk

Shall we make our own little experiment? We will need you for this.
So if looking at cute photos of animals can boost our moods, then we expect you to be smiling already. We’ve selected a few cute pics of animals. Your task will be to vote for the one that produces the biggest smile on you. If our selection is good, you will get a moment of happiness, just an instant of joy, a rush of pleasure:

The happiest animal on Earth

Talking about animals and happiness, please meet the quokka, branded as “the happiest animal on Earth.”

We came across this little creature, considered the happiest animal in the world because it has a very friendly expression and always seems to be smiling. It’s a small marsupial, natively found in the south-west of Australia. It’s short, fluffy and wears an everlasting smile, and everybody who visits this spot of Australia seems to be taking selfies with it.

quokka-happiest-animal-selfie
Photo credit: Flipboard

So… how big is your smile now?