There are many reasons to dislike Ted Cruz, among them his messed up Black Lives Matter rhetoric, his tendency to abortion shame, and his questionable acting skills. But it's equally easy to come to the conclusion that he's a creep just by looking at him, and one scientist wanted to know why. "It’s hard to look at Ted Cruz’s face," neurologist Richard Cytowic wrote in an article for Psychology Today. "He’s a brilliant orator with a sharp legal mind. But his expression unsettles me."
Human beings have been judging others' facial expressions since their days as cavemen, Cytowic points out. It's natural and instinctive to make a snap judgment, but Cruz's weird range of facial expressions defies categorization. In other words, "Senator Cruz’s countenance doesn’t shift the way I expect typical faces to move," Cytowic said. He went on:
I have rarely, if ever, seen a conventional smile from Senator Cruz. In a natural smile the corners of the mouth go up; these muscles we can control voluntarily as well. But muscles circling the eyes are involuntary only; they make the eyes narrow, forming crow’s feet at the outside corners.
No matter the emotional coloring of Senator Cruz’s outward rhetoric, his mouth typically tightens into the same straight line. If it deviates from this, the corners of his mouth bend down, not upwards. The outside of his eyebrows bend down, too, when he emotes, something so atypical that it disturbs me. Typically a person’s eyebrows arch up, as does the corrugator muscle that furrow the forehead. What is such a downturned face signaling?
Cytowic admitted he doesn't know because he's never seen a human face move quite like Cruz's, especially when trying to sway other people—yet another point to the theory that Cruz is an alien in a human suit sent to Earth to conquer us all. Maybe now Cytowic can look into why Cruz doesn't know what to do with his arms.