Kind of love pimple popping videos? There's a very odd reason for that.

Image via YouTube.

Nothing divides couples, friends and family like a gross viral video. Take for example the work of Dr Pimple Popper, the dermatologist with over 60,000 Youtube subscribers who’s videos have half the office hooked – and the other half absolutely repulsed.

It’s no secret that I’m not totally adverse to a pimple pop or two, but the latest video doing the rounds of an ear wax extraction even had me watching like this:



In the video, which has so far had over seven million views, a poor man is seen having a fair chunk of wax pulled out of his ear by someone I hope is more qualified than just a friend with a pair of tweezers (but I doubt it). (Post continues after video.)

As he grimaces in pain, she says "Ooh, it's coming! You're doing so good."

Then, just as you're getting used to the video and tell yourself, "Hey, this isn't so bad", a huge lump of earwax the size of a large insect is pulled out his ear. GAG.

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But even though it made me feel slightly sick, I couldn't look away. There was even a sense of satisfaction once it was finished.  And surprisingly, there's a scientific reason for it.

According to Daniel Kelly, author of the book Yuck!: The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust, repulsion is a feeling that evolved with the need for humans to keep themselves safe from the dangers of infection or contagious diseases. (Post continues after gallery.)

"It's a psychological component to this arsenal of protective weaponry," he said in an interview with Salon.

"Instead of waiting until something gets into our system that we have to fight to push out, disgust helps us to stay away from objects and people that are likely to get us sick."


However because we've managed to generally distance ourselves from things that would typically disgust us on a daily basis such as morgues, hospitals and sewage and waste, Kelly argues we've become desensitised, which is why we're drawn to these kind of disgusting videos.

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So our attraction to videos like the pimple popping and ear wax probably has more to do with the thrill rather than disgust.

According to The Guardian, most fans reported that the videos gave them a rush without the fear of danger, similar to the sensation of riding a roller coaster.

"Negative sensations are interesting, particularly when you're in a context where they can't hurt you," Nina Strohminger, author of The Hedonics of Disgust, explained to Cosmopolitan.

You said it, Jimmy/Sara


“You're probably not going to step in dog shit just for the experience, but maybe you'd click on a link to watch someone else doing it.”

Even though we know it's going to be gross, we still feel the urge to watch it. So in people like me, curiosity overrides our disgusted reflexes.

"You have this quick, reflex-like tendency to move away from whatever you find disgusting. You might not actually move, but you’ll have this flash of motivation to jerk away from it," Kelly explains.

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So as long as people are willing to film their gross habits, there will continue to be people equally willing to watch.

And truthfully? I can't wait to see what comes next.

Do you find these kind of videos fascinating or horrible?