People Who Look Like Their Dogs

Illustrating the science
More
(NBC)

This morning, The Atlantic magazine associate editor Sarah Yager appeared on NBC's Today to help Matt Lauer and company contextualize an enduring mystery: why people sometimes resemble their dogs. It seems to happen both in appearance and disposition. Yager looked at several academic studies on the topic in this month's magazine as part of the short recurring feature "Study of Studies," in which we compare offbeat research that might be surprising either in its findings or methods, or simply in the fact that it exists. This month: "Why You Look Like Your Dog."

To illustrate the segment, the Today crew scoured this good nation to find people who look like their dogs. Those most dog-like traveled to Rockefeller Center, paraded around on camera, and were made to smile into it for awkwardly too long.

Because this is America and everything is a competition, this was also a competition. David Frei, co-host of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, oversaw the procession and chose a winner (incorrectly; the strongest resemblance is actually James from California with his miniature schnauzer and their matching mustaches). Here is the video.

The segment is reminiscent of a 1992 episode of The Simpsons, in which a daytime-TV show profiled "People Who Look Like Things":

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION]
[IMAGE DESCRIPTION]
[IMAGE DESCRIPTION]
[IMAGE DESCRIPTION]
[IMAGE DESCRIPTION]
(The Simpsons / Fox / McGarnagle.com)

Unlike the dog segment, these men teach us little about the obesity epidemic, but there's probably something in there about self image. "All we ask," said the pumpkin-headed man, "is to be treated with dignity and respect."

Next month: Why We're All Starting to Look Like Our Smartphones.

Read Yager's Study of Studies in the magazine or online here.

Jump to comments
Presented by

James Hamblin, MD, is a senior editor at The AtlanticHe is the host of If Our Bodies Could Talk.

 
 
More

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In