More than 26 million people have watched this blackhead video, so why are we so obsessed?

Getting rid of those imperfections...
It’s too gross to watch, but too hard to look away [Photo: Getty]

Blackhead removal, pimple popping; in real life when we’re doing these things, it’s a simultaneous love-hate thing.

On the one hand it’s impulsive and satisfying. But on the other, well, it hurts.

So why is it that we’re absolutely obsessed with watching videos of it happening, usually with cysts and spots so large they seem otherworldly?

One video – a super up-close shot of blackhead removal – is no exception; featuring what appear to be medical pliers and a camera so close to someone’s skin you can see the pores, you can watch one blackhead removed after the other.

And it’s received more than 26 million views.

“It’s the same kind of thrill people get from, say, riding a roller coaster or bungee jumping,” Daniel Kelly, assistant professor of philosophy at Purdue University and author of Yuck!: The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust told Cosmopolitan.

“It activates the experience the typically comes with a real kind of danger while actually being protected from the harmful effects typically associated with those situations,” he said.

So you could say it’s a little like watching an action film – there’s a thrill in watching a main character chased by zombies while you’re sat on the sofa at home, well, not being chased by zombies.

He continued: “One of the main functions of disgust, the heart of this particular emotion’s primary job or core mission, is to protect us from infectious diseases.”

And the reason we share it so much on social media? We’re more likely to talk about gross things than nice things with our friends.

“Disgusting things tend to capture the attention pretty easily, and (surprisingly) it’s been found that people are more likely to pass along and tell their friends about something that’s disgusting versus something that isn’t,” he explained.

“Some [people] are just more ‘disgustable’ or squeamish across the board than others.”

Yep, some of us are, which is why some of us can’t get more than 10 seconds into the video.

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