Archimedes' fourth law says that cats plus the Internet equals comedy squared. It's as simple as that. You capture a kitty -- it doesn't matter if it's skinny, thicc, fluffy or sleepy -- in a humorous scenario, upload the photo to social media, and voila, you're disrupting the status quo of the online world; even the 4chan trolls are taking a break from making up green texts to enjoy an innocent laugh.
Bored Panda has already compiled lists of the best cat posts, for example, here, here, and here, but people continue using the aforementioned equation to produce unforgettable kitty content, so we have to continue giving them the attention they deserve. From ruining their human's breakfast to building a tent, these felines are going viral whether you like it or not.
Interestingly, the good people at the Media School at Indiana University tried to investigate why do people love internet cats. Jessica Gall Myrick, an assistant professor of journalism, got nearly 7,000 people to complete her online survey.
"It is possible that viewing of online cat media improves mood, but this activity may also foster negative outcomes linked to using the Internet for procrastination," the researchers wrote.
"Some people may think watching online cat videos isn't a serious enough topic for academic research, but the fact is that it's one of the most popular uses of the Internet today," Myrick said. "If we want to better understand the effects the Internet may have on us as individuals and on society, then researchers can't ignore Internet cats anymore."
"We all have watched a cat video online, but there is really little empirical work done on why so many of us do this, or what effects it might have on us," Myrick added. "As a media researcher and online cat video viewer, I felt compelled to gather some data about this pop culture phenomenon."
It Sees Me
Internet data show there were more than 2 million cat videos posted on YouTube in 2014, with almost 26 billion views. Believe it or not, cat videos had more views per video than any other category of YouTube content.
Myrick's study revealed that the most popular sites for viewing cat videos were Facebook, YouTube, Buzzfeed and I Can Has Cheezburger.
Among the possible effects Myrick hoped to explore: Does viewing cat videos online have the same kind of positive impact as pet therapy? And do some viewers actually feel worse after watching cat videos because they feel guilty for putting off tasks they need to tackle?
Of the participants in the study, about 36 percent described themselves as a "cat person," while about 60 percent said they liked both cats and dogs
The participants in the study reported they were more energetic and felt more positive after watching cat-related online media than before.
Also, they had fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness, after watching cat-related online media than before.
They said they often viewed Internet cats at work or during studying, and the pleasure they got from watching cat videos outweighed any guilt they felt about procrastinating.
Himb Goomba. (He Is Here To Bring Joy, Please Skip This Post If You Want To Say Anything Negative About His Appearance)
All in all, the response to watching cat videos was largely positive.
"Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward," Myrick explained.
The results also suggest that future work could explore how online cat videos might be used as a form of low-cost pet therapy, she said.