An intense competition dubbed the #CuteOff flooded Twitter feeds.
Hundreds of people — scientists and laypeople alike — posted photographs of creatures they found worthy of the title of cutest animal on earth. National Geographic reports that the starting gun was a tweet by ecologist Anne Hilborn.
Apparently, Hilborn was also the catalyst for the famed #JunkOff from the week prior, in which scientists shared photos of rarely seen animal genitalia. But we'll spare you those images.
The event even spawned factions, with groups rooting for bugs (#TeamEntomology), birds (#TeamOrnithology), reptiles (#TeamHerpetology), fish (#TeamIchthyology), and mammals (#TeamMammal) hashtagging their alliances.
People may have treated the #CuteOff like a contest, but with this digital deluge of dorbz, we're all winners.
Without further ado, please enjoy a sampling of some of my favorite entries.
Tiny domestic turtle. Check.
A frog waving like a human? There's a frontrunner.
OK, I see you bugs. You can be cute, too.
Tiny fish, you're all right in my book.
Ugh. Stop it. Really? OK, don't.
Clearly, I'm a sucker for common DNA.
Please stay a baby. Forever.
These guys are maxed out on cuteness.
Do not touch the animals ... unless you're tickling this baby penguin.
Uhhh ... I'm not sure, but ... yes. Please. Thank you.
It's not beauty rest. It's cutey rest. (Yes I did.)
And finally, my favoritest of the bunch. How can you not want to squeeze it into nothingness??? Scratch that. They're endangered.
Can you believe the world is filled with stuff like this? Let's try to keep it that way, eh?