One of the most justifiably beloved Internet memes in existence is Unlikely Animal Friendships. (Now also available in TV show-form!) As a new video proves, though, the most unlikely animal friendship of all is just might be with one’s own reflection.
French photographer Xavier Hubert Brierre recently travelled to the Gabonese wilds of Africa and set up a mirror in several locations, just to see how animals would react when chancing upon them. In the same way that human beings have a full range of relationships with the mirror–from shameless vanity to outright hostility–so too do our neighbors in the animal kingdom. Finding out who among the apes, leopards, and even elephants is most comfortable with the creature looking back at them is a zoological drinking game waiting to happen.
According to the Mirror, the photographer hid cameras in security boxes and set up motion sensors that triggered the cameras whenever animals got close enough to the mirrors. By doing so, Brierre was able to capture the baboon’s fear of self, the ape’s aggression, and the chimp’s vanity. Perhaps most inspirational of all, though, is the elephant, who sees himself, shrugs, and goes about his (or possibly her) business. Let us all take a page out of the elephant handbook by accepting our flaws and keeping it real.