It may now seem like YouTube has been around forever, but it’s actually only celebrating its 17th birthday. The very first YouTube video titled “Me at the Zoo” was uploaded on April 23, 2005.
The 19-second clip uploaded by user Jawed shows a young man standing in front of elephants at the San Diego Zoo as he says to the camera “Okay, so we’re in front of the elephants. Which is cool about these guys is that they have really really long trunks.
No one could have seen the future that YouTube had ahead of it or the millions of more interesting videos that the site would host over the next 17 years.
YouTube users can now find instructions from other users on how to do just about anything, from car repair to makeup and hair tips.
He also made celebrities out of everyday people like the “Evolution of Dance” man who has been viewed over 310 million times. There’s the Numa Numa guy, the chipmunk or dramatic gopher, the sports commentator who made “boom blast the dynamite” a well-known phrase.
Think for a minute about all the YouTube videos that have made you smile or LOL. “David After the Dentist”, “Chocolate Rain”, “Double Rainbow”, “Star Wars Kid”, or even “Leave Britney Alone”. Videos that have collectively been viewed over 500 million times.
But YouTube also hosts videos that no one has ever watched. These are videos uploaded for some reason that have generic titles such as MOV271 and IMG 89. There is no description or location listed. Just video after video with no views.
Astronaut.io is a website that finds YouTube videos that have only a handful or no views. The website, an MIT documentary project, asks you to imagine you’re an astronaut, circling the globe and taking a peek at life. The videos were all uploaded within the last few days.
There’s a church service in Asia, a band of men playing instruments in India, a little rock and roll band playing in a park.
The videos play for a few seconds before the astronaut.io globe spins again before hitting another video of who knows what or where. If you see a video you want to stay for, you can press a button to stop spinning and let the video continue playing. You can also open the video on YouTube.
Why would anyone want to watch these videos? You never know what you might find. And someone had to be the first to see “David After the Dentist” asking “Is this real life?”
Astronaut.io gives people-watchers a glimpse of “real life”, thanks to YouTube.