By Inverse Video
on
Filed Under Psychology & Video

Everyone is guilty of it. As you scour the internet for a video of koalas getting married, you stumble upon a whole playlist of giant pimples being popped. The videos are gag-worthy, and yet, millions of us view these gruesome blackhead extractions over and over again. There’s even an entire series about it called [Dr. Pimple Popper](https://www.inverse.com/article/34404-pimple-popping-primatology), where dermatologist Sandra Lee takes on some of the most revolting zits, giving us a behind-the-scenes look at America’s newest medical fascination. So, why exactly are we so obsessed with these pimple popping videos?

There actually is science to support our love for the disgusting. As Inverse reported in August, there are a couple reasons we are drawn to the disgusting:

Robin Dunbar, the British evolutionary psychologist famous for his work on human social bonds, tells Inverse that our pimple popping tendency could be a vestige of evolution.

Dunbar, whose observations of primate societies have revealed the benefits of gossip and the limits of our social networks, has found that our chimpanzee cousins and orangutan aunties spend a lot of time physically grooming each other. Pimple popping, he suggests, is just another part of that process.

There’s also a potential adrenaline rush associated with watching someone eat a maggot pizza on Fear Factor or watch someone’s head get chopped off in Game of Thrones. But since there is no threat of it happening to us, we gain enjoyment from it. That is, if you can hold your lunch down.


Read the full “Your Brain on Pimple Popping” article here.