Watching a baby see themselves in the mirror for the first time is pretty hilarious.
Catching a dog or cat question the mirror is also pretty entertaining.
But now, French photographer Xavier Hubert-Brierre has given some of the most stunning, larger-than-life African animals a giant mirror to take in their own beauty.
And the results are pretty incredible.
The “miroir en forêt” series of videos date back to 2012 and document exactly what happens when some of the jungle’s finest see their own reflections for the first time once they stumble upon a mirror in Gabon, Africa.
It turns out, not all jungle animals react the same way to their reflections. Some – like the chimpanzees – are aggressive at first in response to their reflection, but then use the mirror to play games and explore parts of their body they couldn’t see otherwise.
Others – like the silverback Gorilla – have no love for their reflection, seeing it as a rival, and therefore becoming aggressive at the sight of it. On the other hand, the elephant gets all worked up in another way upon seeing its refection, confusing it for a potential mate. Similarly, the flirty leopard tried to seduce her own reflection over a four-day span. The chimps and leopards were particularly addicted to the mirror, often sleeping next to it.
Some – like many of us – just like looking at themselves for the hell of it.
Brierre also captured the animals’ behaviour when the mirror was taken away. They noticed it’s removal – and they weren’t too happy about it. According to Brierre, some experienced “great depression” with the absence of their reflection.
When the mirror was returned to the jungle, the animals’ joy is pretty obvious.
A two-and-a-half minute compilation of Brierre’s original videos has been released to YouTube, becoming – not surprisingly – a viral sensation, with over 16-million views.