Every now and again, someone takes a photo that is so wonky, it literally makes your brain hurt to look at. This is one of them.

While hanging out with two happy pups, a Reddit user took a photo that has since been deemed “perplexing.” At first glance, the photograph looks like a dog combined with another dog-looking creature, posing at a weird angle.

Credit: Reddit

Apparently, other people thought the same, for it was quickly shared far and wide. Confused internet users puzzled over the photo —  until they learned the simple truth behind it…

Credit: Reddit

It turns out, the dog isn’t misshapen — he’s just comfortable! The distorted appearance is the result of the pup flopping his head back, then sideways. If you’re still confused, he literally laid down and looked back at the camera.

Here’s the same picture rotated 90 degrees.

Credit: Reddit

Cue the audience, “Ohhhhhhhhhh.” To this day, the dog remains unfazed by his contortionist ways.

A Lesson to be Learned

The comprehension of the photograph isn’t the only takeaway. A lesson can also be learned from the Picasso-esque canine. In recent days, tens of thousands of people have spent precious minutes contemplating the image. They did so because it presented a challenge — and, let’s face it, were probably bored.

Now, imagine if the same people put an equivalent amount of effort into understanding their “enemy’s” point of view. Rather than jump to conclusions and label them “bad,” they might learn that the person behaves, acts, and dresses in a certain way because of the way they were raised, as well as because of their beliefs. This is called empathy, or putting oneself in another’s shoes.

The world isn’t a “bad” place full of “terrible” people. Rather, the majority are playing defense because they have been burned by a system that hardly works for anyone anymore. Mistaking the caution of others as ill intent has caused far too much hatred to be spewed. This acknowledged, it is time to put the same amount of effort we invest in comprehending a dog photo into understanding (and loving) others.

Let’s hope that in the future, time-consuming stories such as this one inspire more people to look at the world through a lens of compassion and acceptance.

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h/t The Dodo