If you're anything like me, you'll go to YouTube looking for obscure turn-of-the-century girl bands and find yourself, five hours later, watching 12-minute-long videos of old men shaving sheep. I'm not talking about a nude sheep fetish, I'm talking about soothing, satisfying videos showing a process -- objects being crafted, art being created, a job being done with mesmerizing precision. If you want to lower your blood pressure a bit, sit back and enjoy some of the most hypnotic and satisfying videos on the 'net.
#12. Machine Making a Chess Piece
OK, of all the weird shit I've said here and on my Twitter account, this may be one of the more surreal if taken out of context ... or used exactly in context: I am a sucker for lathes. My dad used to watch a woodworking show when I was a kid only because the host hurt himself every single episode. But once you've seen that happen so many times, you stop noticing the horrific bleeding and screaming and start noticing the beauty of the patterns in a rapidly spinning chunk of wood that is being slowly shaved down into a bedpost or a giant dildo or whatever. This is the same thing, only with metal, and judging from the hit counter, I'm not the only guy who likes watching this shit:
They're making a rook, and because I knew that going in, I had to stick around until the little castle hat part was made. And then I was sad because I realized that I don't own a metal chess set.
Oh, and here's a bonus video for my fellow lathe lovers. Enjoy while this guy takes a wooden stump and grinds it down to a perfectly smooth sphere:
Yeah, that's the shit right there.
#11. Turkish Paper Marbling
The above video is an extremely old art form called paper marbling that can be traced back as far as who gives a shit. All I know is that it's as cool as a dick with sideburns. Basically, it's a shallow pan filled with water, and paint is dripped into it. Different chemical solutions can be used to make the paint float or sink, but the end result is a floating painting that's manipulated by pulling the pigment with thin rods to weave patterns. When it's all done, a special paper is laid on top of it to soak up the paint, and you get some wicked cool shit.
This one was found on Vimeo, but I'm actually afraid to look for more examples on YouTube. Because I know for a guaranteed fact that if I start one, I'll be watching these things until someone has to stage an intervention and I have to start taking hostages in response.
#10. Guy Makes a Pewter Chair at the Beach
Pewter is a combination of soft metals that have a very low melting point. Every Dungeons & Dragons player on the face of the Earth has at least one wizard or dragon made out of it.
This guy has taken pewter and too much spare time to a whole new level, though, by going to the beach and digging a mold right there in the sand. He then builds a fire to melt the metal and pours it in:
The whole process is sped up to less than a minute and a half, but it's just mesmerizing. There's almost a zen feeling, watching him create something with his own two hands in such a short span of time, using nothing but a campfire, some sticks, and an unhealthy numbness to impending jock violence. When he pulls that chair out of the earth, there's a weird sort of victory that's hard to put into words. Like when Link finds his boomerang or that one British king dude pulled that knife thing out of a rock or something.
Now I have the Zelda theme stuck in my head.
Oh, and as long as we're on the beach, we might as well get some lunch ...
#9. Old Man Digging Up Clams
If you were to go back 20 years and tell me that one day one of my favorite things to watch would be an old man digging up clams on the beach, I would have paused my game of Final Fantasy II, drunkenly stumbled over to you, and said, "Time travel doesn't exist! What are you doing in my house? And why are you dressed like it's still the 1980s?" Then I probably would have had sex with you because I was pretty hot back then.
But at no point during all that would I have believed that this would be one of my favorite videos. Seriously, play that video and listen to how excited that guy is, not only when he finds a clam, but when he finds the air bubble hole that marks where the clam is.
Then he uses his little tube digger thingy to cut a big ol' chunk of beach out, and BAM!
He's just so happy when he spots them, letting out an excited "A-HA!" I want him to be my grandpa so bad. I would get up every Saturday and be like, "Can we go a-clammin' today, pee-paw?" And he'd be like, "Can we? Fuck your grandmother's plans, we're gonna go dig the goddamn shit out of some clams, bitch!" Then he'd open-hand slap me on the neck and cackle wildly, because that's just what clam-digging grandpas do.
#8. White Blood Cell Chasing Bacterium
Oh my God, you're so close, little neutrophil! Keep going, you're almost there!
First off, it's weird to think that these creepy blobs are everywhere in your body, crawling around and stalking any asshole that tries to break in and start some shit. But it's even weirder to think that they have enough sensory perception to target and track a fleeing entity like that at all. Second, I'm not entirely sure that it's possible to stop this video once you've started it. You know at any second, it's going to catch and eat that little piece of shit, and if you turn your head for a moment, you're going to miss it. And when it does catch it, the reward is so sweet. The way it takes just a second to stop and enjoy what it accomplished before squishing off to find more.
#7. Soap in a Microwave
Kids, don't do this at home. But if you do, you should film it and put it on YouTube because it is cool as fuck and people will love you for it. I have it on good authority that celebrities even showed up at this guy's house and shook his hand for doing this and then gave him money and became his friend.
Editor's Note: They did not. That is a bold-faced lie that John is using to make more people do this. Don't do this -- we don't know if it will mess up your microwave or cause your parents to violently beat you.
If editors interject their stupid faces in here and tell you that I'm lying, don't believe them. They get paid to lie. As proof, in case you can't watch that video, here's an animated gif I made to show you how safe and cool this is:
But I urge you to watch the video itself because it gets goddamn gigantic.