April 23 is the 10th anniversary of the day the first-ever YouTube video was posted.
It is hard to imagine life before YouTube. In just a decade it seems like everything that ever happened has been memorialized in a two-minute video on YouTube. I'm sure that if it isn't there already, soon we'll have real-time footage of the big bang up for people to comment on.
[ YouTube is even great for teasing out the plot of our favorite movies. Read What We Learned From The Second Star Wars Trailer. ]
You have to give credit to the first person to upload a video, the YouTube's co-founder Jawed Karim. His video is an entirely mundane 19-second clip of him realizing elephants have long noses.
This is strangely visionary. He didn't think he needed the Citizen Kane of home movies. He didn't wait until he had the best elephant video ever. He just posted. And honestly, that set the right tone for YouTube, where literally anything goes, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Ten years later, YouTube has a billion users. They upload 300 hours of video per minute, watch millions of hours of it per day, and generate billions of views. YouTube also brings our world a little bit closer together. On average, 60% of views of a given YouTube video come from outside the poster's home country.
In honor of the 10th anniversary, I thought I'd post 10 of my favorite -- yet clean -- YouTube videos of all time. You've probably seen most, if not all, of them. But let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
Of course, it wouldn't be YouTube if we didn't start with an animal video. This might be the king of dog videos, from 2008:
The Masters of the Universe demand you watch this video from May of 2010:
More animals with this sloth from 2011. And check out this bonus video of the sloth's perspective on this:
Didn't believe me when I said they have everything on YouTube? Here is the 1985 Face-Pulling World Championship, posted in 2009:
It isn't all fun and games. Sometimes someone offers us something beautiful and profound. Like this video of a girl growing up, one day at a time, from 2000 to 2014.
Or this truly beautiful display of artistry from Ukraine's Got Talent. How else would we have ever seen this?
You'll have to decide for yourself if it's art, but here's a video of an all-hologram, all-computerized rock star in Japan from 2012. I happen to love it, if only for its audacity:
We can't possibly leave out the level of truly great parody on YouTube -- most of which is not safe for work. This is perhaps the funniest safe-for-work one out there in the great genre of honest trailers:
OK, one more animal video. We just can't resist them. A rabbit taking a spa day from 2013:
I felt a need to post something from the anniversary week. Who better to post than head-nerd Neil deGrasse Tyson participating in a newish trend on YouTube -- reading mean tweets:
Yes, I skipped Keyboard Cat, David After The Dentist, Gangnam Style, and countless other YouTube favorites. There's no way I can get it all in with 10 videos. Plus, I wanted to leave some room for you guys. What are your favorites? Do you even like YouTube? Share with us in the comments, and happy anniversary to YouTube.
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