There are relatively very few creatures on earth that can pass the mirror test, which measures an animal’s ability to recognize itself in the mirror. If they do, they’ve proven themselves as one of the world’s smartest animals.
In fact, self-awareness is potentially one of the most important criteria for personhood. To be self-aware implies to have a concept of self. In the test, a removable dye is applied to the creature. If the animal attempts to touch the dye on his own body when seeing it in a mirror, it passes the mirror test, revealing self-awareness ability. The elephant, pictured above, is said to have a self-awareness level that’s on par with a human’s.
One of the first things animals capable of recognizing themselves in mirrors do is try exploring the other side of the mirror. Elephants like Maxine and Patty , seen in the video below, swung their trunks over and behind the wall on which the mirror was mounted. They kneeled in front of it to get their trunks under and behind it, and even attempted to physically climb the wall. Remarkably, they didn’t appear to at first mistake their reflections as strangers and try to greet them, as many animals that can recognize themselves normally do.