Cradling an adorable creature can trigger intense, passionate emotions in many people. One boy, when confronted by the sheer cuteness of a Chihuahua puppy, breaks down and weeps tears of unadulterated joy (video below).
With tears streaming down his face, the boy almost seems distraught while the Chihuahua rests in his arms, Shareable reports.
"What's wrong, son?" the boy's mother, recording to touching scene, asks as he cries uncontrollably.
"She's so beautiful!" he wails, as the Chihuahua sympathetically licks away the tears on his cheeks.
The child's borderline hysterical response to the certifiably cute puppy is understandable: Many people are drawn to the charm of an adorable dog.
In January 2014, a study conducted by the University of Portsmouth found that domesticated dogs may have evolved to exhibit the features of a human infant.
"Our study suggests that dogs' facial movements have evolved in response to a human preference for childlike characteristics," Dr. Bridget Waller, the leader of the study, told The Huffington Post. "In other words, we might have automatically opted for dogs which produced facial movements that enhanced their babylike faces."
Waller added that her study indicated that wolves "which produced childlike expressions may have been more tolerated by humans, and so modern dogs have inherited these features."
Professor Ralf Buckley, chairman of the Australia-based Griffith University Eco-Tourism, believes there should be a specific word in the English language to describe the emotion people feel when they witness cuteness.
"You can say things that are cute are loveable ... but is love the emotion of perceiving cuteness?" Buckley told Australia's ABC. "If you're trying to communicate with another person exactly what you feel, then it's useful to have a word [for it]."
Buckley concluded that establishing a word to describe the reaction to cuteness would open up research into what the emotion means. One study in January 2013 by Rebecca Dyer of Yale University found that while cuteness can stir happy emotions, it can also make people aggressive.
"We think it's about high positive-affect, an approach orientation and almost a sense of lost control," Dyer told Live Science. "You know, you can't stand it, you can't handle it, that kind of thing."
Dyer's experiment consisted of giving participants bubble wrap and showing them a series of images juxtaposing cute animals and funny animals. The study found that when participants were shown adorable critters, they were more likely to burst the bubble wrap.
The Yale University student noted that study participants did not want to harm the cute animals, but instead were showing aggression because they were overcome with a positive emotion.
"It might be that how we deal with high-positive emotion is to sort of give it a negative pitch somehow," Dyer said. "That sort of regulates, keeps us level and releases that energy."