Well, this is a simple social experiment: taking on the contention that you can find anything on YouTube. That's certainly an exaggeration, but among the millions of videos on the website you're sure to find most of the things you're looking for. So I decided to launch this feature as a semi-regular look at the bizarre world of online multimedia, thinking up 10 random phrases or images, seeing if it's available in video form, and checking to see how many views and comments it has (reflected by whenever I got around to viewing the thing, given that it takes awhile to draft these entries). Some are fairly common, some are a little bizarre. Let's see what we can get.
A computer mouse used as a lasso
Incredibly enough, there actually is a video matching these terms. In this 30-second clip uploaded on Jan. 10 2010, animator and "unemployed/starving artist" someynguy depicts a battle between a cordless mouse and a mouse with a cord. The cord mouse's first trick is to use the cord like a lasso, and it later employs it like a whip.
A hit for the phrase "dumbass kid" and the word "snake"
Apparently even dumbass kids know not to mess with snakes. The one video listed as a match for no apparent reason is this one, of a kid doing a front flip off a swing set into deep snow. It was uploaded by MrPATRIOT64 on Feb. 6 2010.
There's no mention of the word "snake" in the description of tags, so it's unclear how snakes are involved in this. Maybe the town name, who knows.
A crab fishing clip that isn't from The Deadliest Catch
The hit Discovery Channel show The Deadliest Catch, following a handful of vessels on their hazardous journeys into the Bering Sea to hunt crab, has plenty of clips and candid shots of Sig Hansen, Phil Harris, and the rest of the affable guys that man these boats. The show also frequently uses home videos, though, and crab fishing has obviously been going on long before the show started airing. There are loads of amateur videos to reflect that.
In this three-minute video, described only as red king crab fishing on the Bering Sea, a deckhand takes a break to film the process of reeling in and sorting a pot. It all seems very quiet after what is aired on the show. It was posted on Dec. 5 2006 by dpcatala.
A video showing someone's tongue being detached from a frozen flagpole
Well, it doesn't quite show the process, but apparently it's not something that happens too often after the cautionary tale of A Christmas Story. In this short Associated Press clip, a girl looks quite chipper despite the fact that her tongue seems to be bleeding, and some firefighters mill about as a reporter discusses how she got her tongue there in the first place and how rescuers got her detached.
Someone scuba diving in a cave in the Caribbean
I thought of this one since a local theater had a talk by a diver who had been exploring underwater caves in the Caribbean. National Geographic was involved in this talk and several associated lecturers, so of course a search readily brings up a clip from a National Geographic show, Wild Chronicles. It looks at an exploration of an underwater cave in Cuba. The video was posted by oceancontent, an official channel with a ton of ocean videos, on September 10, 2008.
A Frisbee hitting a camera
This short video was uploaded by kljacobson, an Oregon resident who has posted several videos of her dog, on July 10, 2010.
A humpback whale breaching
Sorry for those of you who absolutely hate Coldplay, but hopefully you can stomach a 30-second clip of one of their songs for this rather amazing video from near Husavik, Iceland. As someone who went on a whale watch in elementary school and saw little more than a couple of blowholes spouting off, I imagine this was well worth the ticket price for passengers.
This was uploaded on Nov. 1 2008 by fdjunk, a Dutch guy whose videos include a BASE jump into a Norwegian fjord, a laughing baby, and a rather popular one of a marathon runner who has become completely exhausted in the final 200 meters of a marathon as dozens of people cruise past him.
Elmo and some celebrity
Famous actors love them some Sesame Street, so I figured this one wouldn't be too hard. This video is actually geared more to celebrities in general, as Ricky Gervais sings Elmo a "celebrity lullaby." Elmo certainly doesn't seem overly bothered that Gervais is in his house for no apparent reason and that the letter N is watching him when he sleeps.
This video was uploaded by the official Sesame Street channel on YouTube on December 18, 2009.
Some average Joe on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, is apparently the easiest continental high peak to summit since it's a more gradual climb. Here's a short video from a couple of guys who did the hike to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project.
This was put up by Joshua Goldstein (JoshuaGoldstein23) on July 24, 2008. In addition to an outtake video from the summit, he's uploaded his best man speech, a couple of concert videos, and a short video of the 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
A chess set on fire
Well, right now no one has uploaded a video where they've set a chessboard on fire. However, there is this:
This is taken from Marostica, Italy, a city known for a human chess game that has taken place every other years since 1923. This is apparently how they start the festivities.