Since YouTube came online in 2005, every type of video imaginable has been uploaded to the website. Some are funny, some are surreal, some are simply unwatchable. A less-known category of YouTube videos is those that test the length limits of what the site allows to be uploaded.
Technically, YouTube allows an uploaded video to have a maximum of twelve hours in length. This limit can be skirted, however, due to the relationship between upload size and resolution. For example, if a twelve-hour video is uploaded but the resolution of said video is reduced to a sufficient degree, this allows the length to be increased even further.
The video’s resolution has to be decreased to an extreme degree to allow for this loophole. Chances are, many of the longest videos are too pixelated or slowed down to be watchable. There are others, however, that are fascinating. Some of the record holders, such as a purported five hundred and ninety-six-hour video, have since been deleted. So, here are the eight longest videos on YouTube today.
1. Teo’s 36-Hour Stream
Popular video game streamer Teo once streamed for thirty-six hours straight. During this time, he played video games and commented on the experience to his fans. Originally broadcast on November 13, 2021, and since uploaded to YouTube, the video features literal days of video game playthroughs.
These games include Inscryption, Battlefield 2042, and Jurassic World: Evolution 2. Though Teo sleeps for a few hours in the middle of the video, other prerecorded game playthroughs are shared on the screen in the meantime.
Considering that a few of the eight longest videos on YouTube are just of slowed-down footage, the uploads by Teo and other streamers on the list are especially impressive. Playing video games and commenting on them for a day or more straight seems like especially draining work. Plus, Teo’s video manages to retain a watchable resolution even with its considerable length.
2. ArcadianFish’s 223 Hour Video
ArcadianFish’s upload on April 21, 2020, is truly something to behold, though it will require over a week to watch. The video is something of a viral joke on YouTube, as a couple of other users have uploaded the same video before.
It also might be the longest video currently on YouTube, clocking in at two hundred and twenty-three hours. It consists of what appears to be an old computer instruction video for kids. In the clip, a little girl almost taunts the viewer to watch as she hits the F25 key on a keyboard.
The video sampled is probably five seconds but has been stretched to literally nine days on end, making its resolution very grainy. There is a sound warning for this video, too. This is because the first two hours feature an overlay of eardrum-rupturing distorted tones. These combined elements make this a pure YouTube loophole novelty, as it is simply unwatchable.
3. Survival Challenge’s 24-Hour Nature Video
One of the more interesting videos on the list comes from the user Survival Challenge. Uploaded on May 2021, the video follows a man, presumably the user, as he explores a jungle environment. It features basket weaving, foraging, starting a fire with bare hands, and other impressive feats. The video is one full day of true survivalism.
Compared to the other longest videos on YouTube, Survival Challenges is peaceful and cathartic. With a variety of jungle environments and something resembling a narrative arc, the man slogs through and finishes different demanding tasks. The video features a little music, but mostly the sublime and peaceful ambiance of the jungle. Out of all the videos on this list, Survival Challenge’s nature video might be the most satisfying to watch.
4. Minecraft for 24 Hours Straight
There are other videos on this list that consist of just video game streaming, but user UnspeakableReacts’ twenty-four-hour video is unique. This is because he is asleep for almost ninety percent of it.
For the first hour or so of the video, UnspeakableReacts plays Minecraft, digging, gathering, and building objects. From there, he rests his finger on the digging command button, lays his head back, and goes to sleep. For the next twenty-three hours, he sleeps as his in-game player digs endlessly through the pixelated earth.
How UnspeakableReacts manages to sleep in a desk chair for twenty-three hours, seemingly on command, remains to be seen. Regardless, if he is faking sleeping for a full day, that is even more impressive.
5. Drawing PewDiePie for 24 Hours Straight
In 2019, popular artist user ZHC uploaded a video where he drew another popular YouTuber, PewDiePie, for twenty-four hours straight. Starting and completing dozens of pencil drawings of the YouTuber fashioned as a superhero, ZHC manages to draw for almost a solid day. He also listens to one of PewDiePie’s songs on a loop, only enhancing the misery.
Though these conditions are akin to torture, ZHC somehow pulls it off with ease. There is only a brief moment of drawing help from his girlfriend as he takes a much-needed break. This video is impressive due to his sheer talent and stamina. Somehow, he cranks out lifelike comic-style drawings of PewDiePie back-to-back. Unsurprisingly, ZHC said he would never do this again, calling it “the hardest art challenge ever”.
6. Mr. Beast Counts to 100,000
Before becoming the biggest name on YouTube, Mr. Beast made a twenty-four-hour video where he counted consecutively to 100,000. Uploaded on January 8, 2017, the video has become something of a testament to Mr. Beast’s mastery of YouTube and what it takes to be its main star.
The original video clocked in at forty hours. However, video editor Adobe only allows for twenty-four hours. This means that the video is slightly sped up in parts, but the full, mind-numbing counting process can still be noted clearly.
Mr. Beasts’s pure dedication in counting to a number that high definitely paid off, as this was the first video of his to go viral back in 2017. In recent years, he has become a truly massive Internet presence, but it all started with this video.
7. The Longest Five Seconds on YouTube
On July 18, 2016, the YouTube channel The Slow-Mo Guys uploaded a nineteen-hour video of glass exploding. As the name implies, The Slow-Mo Guys film has many slow-motion clips. This one, however, takes the cake, as the five-second clip is slowed to an excruciating nineteen hours.
Compared to the first video on this list, “The Longest Five Seconds on YouTube” does at least have a beginning, middle, and end. The glass does eventually explode. However, it requires an incredible amount of patience to see it through to its bitter end. Plus, the sheer complexity of the explosion process is really quite interesting frame by frame, but only watchable if you skip through the video.
8. 24-Hour Family Fun Challenge
On March 7, 2019, popular family YouTubers called That YouTub3 Family – The Adventurers uploaded a video showcasing the families’ activities for twenty-four hours. Though That YouTub3 Family has made its name with adventure videos in exotic locales, this day-long video focuses on the simple bliss of family life.
Throughout the twenty-four-hour video, the family does everything from eating and playing board games and video games to opening fan mail. Like a few other videos on this list, the “24 Hour Family Fun Challenge” is a video that can actually be watched enjoyably.
Due to the editing process, the video is technically ten minutes shy of a full twenty-four hours. Even still, it’s a fun, harmless video that lets viewers live vicariously through this family. You’ll still have to slog through a full day, so it’s best to put it on in the background of your own family life.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Alexey Boldin/Shutterstock.com.