This Is What Happens When Scientists Debate Animal Cuteness

In the first ever #CuteOff, scientists of the world have been hard at work answering the following question: which of the world's animals is actually, definitively, undoubtedly the cutest.


(Marion Feige-Muller /

Mirror mirror, on the wall, who’s the… cutest of them all? That’s the question that scientists of the world have been hard at work answering these past few weeks, in a highstakes Twitter competition called the #cuteoff. Yes, you read that correctly: this past month, the world’s best and brightest have been busy trying to establish the cutest animals to roam the world. Contenders have included the obvious, like baby mammals, and the less obvious - animals you probably didn’t know existed, such as the tardigrade, a microorganism.

In all seriousness, however, the social media trend has given non-scientists a glimpse into the fields of ecology, conservation and animal science, as well as raised awareness in the importance of preserving (and appreciating) the diversity of our planet.

Here are a few highlights from the viral competition.

There were the classically cute - baby mammals and the like

There were microorganisms

There were the lizards

There were the bugs

And frogs…

And sea creatures

And a few others that we don’t have the scientific expertise to classify

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