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The fascinating way a horse reacts when it knows you’re angry.

A new study sheds light on our four-legged friends.

Has a horse ever given you major side-eye?

Think Mariah Carey on season 12 of "American Idol" ...


GIF from "American Idol."

Because if so, it might not have just been in your head.

According to a groundbreaking new study, horses can read our emotions much better than we previously thought.

And their eyes do a lot of their talking.

The new study, out of the University of Sussex in the U.K., analyzed responses from 28 horses when they were shown large photos of people making either angry or happy faces for 30 seconds.

When the horses were shown angry faces, their heart rates increased significantly. They also moved their heads to look at the angry photos through their left eye — a key sign that showed researchers the horses were perceiving a negative stimuli.

Secretary of State John Kerry, a fan of horses. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

So, yeah, you're right — even though that horse gave you that look that one time, it probably wasn't throwing shade Mariah-style. But researchers are confident that this left-eye thing means horses can read human emotion pretty damn well.

To understand this left-eye phenomenon, you've got to understand how the right and left brain works.

At a very 101 level, at least.

Many species (like horses) process what their left eye is seeing in the right hemisphere of their brain. And that's where the brain processes threatening stimuli, researchers noted.

So horses looking at the angry faces with their left eye suggests that they could tell the person in the photo might pose a threat to them.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy tries to pet a horse for a pic. Photo by Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images.

“It’s interesting to note that the horses had a strong reaction to the negative expressions, but less so to the positive," researcher Amy Smith, a doctoral student at the university, said in a statement of the findings. "This may be because it is particularly important for animals to recognize threats in their environment. In this context, recognizing angry faces may act as a warning system, allowing horses to anticipate negative human behavior such as rough handling.”

The research isn't just cool — it uncovered a big "first." And it says a lot about how emotionally intelligent horses actually are.

The fact horses can read the facial expressions of another species is a pretty big deal.

"We have known for a long time that horses are a socially sophisticated species," Smith said. "But this is the first time we have seen that they can distinguish between positive and negative human facial expressions."

Queen Elizabeth II: Another world figure who's partial to horses. Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images.

These findings also come on the heels of another study published last summer that discovered horses wear their moods on their faces. You've just got to keep your eyes peeled.

As CNN reported, that study found that horses have 17 various subtle facial expressions that can indicate mood — one more than dogs and four more than chimpanzees.

"It was previously thought that humans possessed the most complex repertoire of facial expressions, and that ... the further away an animal was from humans, the more rudimentary their use of facial expressions would be," researchers wrote. "However ... it is apparent that horses also have an extensive range of facial movements, sharing many ... with humans and other animals."

It seems like the more we understand about these four-legged beauties, the more fascinating they become.

They're downright stunning, super adorable while splashing in water for the first time, and have surprisingly high emotional IQs. What are we going to learn next?


Russian President Vladimir Putin also apparently likes horses. Photo by Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Democracy

Appalachian mom's speech on Kentucky's proposed abortion ban is a must-hear for everyone

Danielle Kirk is speaking up for those often overlooked in our cultural debates.

Canva, courtesy of Danielle Kirk

Appalachian mom gives passionate speech.

Many people felt a gut punch when the Supreme Court issued its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the decades-old Roe v. Wade decision that protected a woman's right to an abortion. However, for some this was a call to action.

Danielle Kirk, 27, a mom of two and an activist on TikTok, used her voice in an attempt to educate the people that make decisions in her small town. Kirk lives in Kentucky where a trigger law came into effect immediately after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Being a former foster child, she knew she had to say something. Kirk spoke exclusively with Upworthy about why she decided to speak up.

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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