'Siblings or Dating?' is the most unsettling thing on the internet and we shan't stop looking at it.

As we limp, battered and emotionally bruised, toward the end of 2020, let us remember the good things this year has brought us.

Harvey Weinstein going to prison.

Jared Leto spending 12 days blissfully unaware about the pandemic because he was silently meditating in the desert.

Kamala Harris.

Carol Baskin cutting a (leopard print) rug on Dancing With The Stars USA.

Still Kamala Harris.

And lastly, the subject of this humble ode: the 'Siblings or Dating' Instagram account.

Watch: Horoscopes go dating. Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia

The premise is simple. 

Distract the population from this fever dream of a year by offering photographs of pairs of strikingly similar-looking people. 

Pose the question: Are these folk biological siblings, or do they kiss on the mouth?

Dozens of minutes can then be lost in forensic analysis of eye and mouth shape, bone structure, hand placement, body language, etc. etc., until you swipe left to find out just how wrong you are.





Look, that's basically it. But if you'd like some academic justification for bringing it up at your festive/New Year function, read on.

(See, anecdotal evidence gathered by the author suggests that when the conversation lulls, the words "have you seen the Siblings or Dating' Instagram account?" WILL come out of your mouth.)

While sexual attraction is a complex phenomenon, there's a wealth of research that indicates that human beings tend to gravitate toward people with features similar to their own and/or those of their parents.

A famous 2010 study, for example, asked people to rate the sexual attractiveness of people in a series of images. Unbeknownst to the participants, these were composite photographs in which the features of two different faces had been morphed together — and some of those features were their own.

Surprise, surprise; the study found that people most preferred the images that contained a blended version of themselves.

This largely subconscious process is believed to be based on our natural preference for things that are appealing; basically, we're comforted by the familiar.



Feature image: Instagram.