Once upon a time, YouTube didn’t exist! Way back in the mists of time, people possessed huge contraptions that would take up half the space of a lounge. Then beneath the vast TV box would be the VHS player, a tape that could play a film for several hours in one rectangle over half a foot long. So a collection of videotapes also required a considerable amount of space in the living room, stored in cabinets, which means a movie night meant browsing through a literal library of videos.
“Netflix and Chill” existed, but usually meant tapes getting chewed up by the machine. In the space of 25 years, tech has gone from large contraptions where people could only see adverts, promotions and product placement on TV or in cinemas. Although once the internet as a consumer product was born at the end of the 90s, videos started to free up even more, and the faster the web became, the wider the availability of video got. Now we have videos at the touch of a button, and viral vids are vital for getting information out there to the masses, spreading in an incredibly fast manner (hence the name viral).
The internet is a quickly evolving thing and what was hot yesterday is forgotten even maybe an hour or so later that day. Here are 15 viral videos that aren’t on Google.
15. Max Headroom Hijacking
Live TV offers ripe ‘headroom’ for things to go wrong and when they do go wrong, it is usually unnoticeable things that can either be ignored or even explained away with a cursory apology: “sorry for the loss of sound” and so on. But what if the broadcast gets invaded when being televised live on air? Such things happened in the past but the most notorious was the Max Headroom hijackings back in the 80s. Twice in 1987, two shows were disrupted on two separate stations by people wearing a Max Headroom mask, the second aired two hours after the first on Chicago station during a Doctor Who special on WTTW and got recorded. Although the first broadcast that commandeered a 9 pm report from a WGN-TV sports anchor was never recorded and the perpetrators were never found.
14. Sam Pepper Prank
Someone as fame hungry as Sam Pepper will always do what it takes to get tongues wagging and online traffic flowing, even if he has to resort to infamy in order to do it. His first brush with notoriety with celebrity came when he appeared on the UK version of the reality TV show, Big Brother, entering the last series of the Channel 4 era of the show. After his eviction Pepper turned to new media, eventually becoming a popular figure on YouTube. He adapted brilliantly well to the streaming site with his brand of off-color humor and array of pranks that earned him millions of subs and tens of millions of hits. Until he went a little too far with his Kill Best Friend prank that caused such a backlash that Pepper had to pull his channel. Although he eventually returned to YouTube (minus this video – that others have uploaded, however).
13. The Yellowstone Recording
It may seem as though Yellowstone National Park is a haven of beauty and wonder; a perfectly secluded space of natural beauty away from the mad rush of modernity, spreading through the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. However, that beauty has thrived due to the vast volcanic reserves beneath the surface, a magma chamber that would cause chaos should it erupt and evidence of this dreadful violence beneath our feet can be seen through sites like the geyser, Old Faithful. In 2016, Colin Scott was hiking through Yellowstone with his sister when he decided to test the waters and slipped in, killed by the acidic waters. His sister was filming him at the time and the recording shows her attempts at rescuing him, his body was retrieved soon after, but the park authorities have no intention of releasing the video.
12. Unreleased Jerry Lewis Movie
The late Jerry Lewis was a legendary actor, singer, and comedian, a creative Jack-of-all-trades that was a cornerstone of Hollywood and a benchmark of its history. Despite his penchant and fame for producing slapstick humor, he once veered away from the laughter to tell a more melancholy tale in 1971, called: The Day the Clown Cried. The movie depicted a clown living in Nazi Germany who voices his anger at the Holocaust and is himself imprisoned in a concentration camp for his views. However, Jerry Lewis never released the film and ceased production, claiming to be disappointed with how the film turned out, later donating the movie to the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress accepted the reel and Lewis accepted the condition for them to release the footage in 2025, but so far only a handful have seen it and some footage has reported to have been leaked.
11. Angry Video Game Nerd
Angry Video Game Nerd – a name shortened to AVGN – uploaded a YouTube Poop video around 2009 or 2010, with vlogging schtick that included hating good video games and liking bad ones as awesome. Once the Festive Season rolled around at this time, AVGN decided to launch a two-part video ripping off the age-old Yuletide tale, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. AVGN follows the same old tropes of the legendary story which eventually resolves into an old Angry Video Game Nerd playing video games, having made a U-Turn on his angriness, indulging in some Christmas feel-good feeling. However, the video was deleted two years later for reasons unknown. Surely plagiarizing a 150-year-old story that has been remade and remade and there being a remake of a remake wasn’t the reason for the video?
10. Pewdiepie’s First Video: (Original Deleted, Now Uploaded)
Swedish YouTuber Pewdiepie embodies the last decade’s upshoot in famous video makers, revolutionizing the YouTube platform into something even the video platform couldn’t expect. Pewdiepie – real name, Felix Schelberg – started his gaming channel in 2011, soon branching into comedy. Six years later and the Swede, now living in the UK, has close to 60 million subscribers on YouTube, Socialblade estimates his annual earnings at a maximum of $3 million – with a total worth of approximately $12 million. Despite the controversy of his recent antics of alleged Anti-Semitism, saying the N-Word on a live stream, and being dropped by Disney, this original video of the YouTube superstar is quite eye-opening, at a time when no such thing existed. Despite these smears on his name from journalists, Pewdiepie still remains the popular YouTube poster boy for getting rich through vlogging.
9. American Beauty Alternate Ending?
That seminal movie, American Beauty, directed by Sam Mendes and starring the legendary (and now disgraced) actor Kevin Spacey as a middle-aged, middle-class, middle-of-the-road loser whose mid-life crisis results in him developing a crush on his daughter’s best friend (played by Mena Suvari). At the end of the movie, Spacey is killed by being shot in the head by the neighbor when Lester Burnham (Spacey) spurns the advances of his closeted army veteran neighbor. There are often rumors of alternate endings (Blade Runner has numerous ones) and on the internet, enough prodding can release alternate movie endings like poking a ball stuck in a tree branch! Yet no trace of this movie’s alternate ending that shows Lester’s daughter and boyfriend on trial for his murder seemingly is non-existent (even denied by the director) yet claims of its existence continue.
8. Grizzly Man Tapes
Timothy Treadwell was a former actor turned naturalist, his exploits in the wilds of Alaska earned him the title of the Grizzly Man and the documentary about his life by Werner Herzog that was given the same name. The documentary recounts how Treadwell would head to America’s largest state every summer to watch and interact with the grizzly bears as they would head to the streams to catch spawning salmon. Eventually, Treadwell encountered a bear from higher in the mountains that he was unfamiliar with and during a bad season for catching salmon, so the bear, hungry and wild that it was, slaughtered Treadwell and his girlfriend that he had taken to Alaska with him. Footage of Treadwell getting slain by the bear was recorded but no footage was released as part of the movie, although audio from the incident was included.
7. Drilling Footage
Some people are natural risk takers and are willing to endure mind-boggling things to prove their arguments and feel that what they believe is correct. Scientist Amanda Feilding is one of the individuals. In 1970, Feilding sought a surgeon to perform an operation known as “trepaning,” which involves drilling a hole into someone’s head! The procedure is an ancient one and was thought to relieve head pressure and of course, no surgeon would indulge her whim, so Feilding did the only thing she could, perform the operation herself! What’s more, she produced a documentary of her performing the surgery, titled: Heartbeat in the Brain. A second documentary called: A Hole in the Head, recounts this procedure but the full film has never made its way online since being screened in 2011.
6. Guantanamo Force-Feeding Videos
Another thorny issue, not just in America but throughout the entire world after 9-11 and the handling of the aftermath of the terrorist attack by George W. Bush and the extended conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, responsible for the rise of ISIS. Many terrorists and suspects have been interred in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba and despite Obama signing an order to close it, the prison remains open. One of the Guantanamo criticisms is the mistreatment of prisoners and like many political prisoners, a main form of protest is hunger strike, which leads the authorities to force feed these people. In 2014, the government was compelled to release the tapes of a Syrian detainee being fed through the nose and stomach via a tube, so far only artist Mos Def has released a recreation to this in one of his music videos.
5. Armin Meiwes Tape
Armin Meiwes is better known probably by his more infamous and frankly more disturbing nickname, The Rotenburg Cannibal. In 2000, Meiwes posted a message online, via a website known as The Cannibal Cafe, seeking someone for one of the most depraved acts another person can do to someone else, eat them. His ad received a reply from an engineer in Berlin named Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes and in 2001 the pair met and made a real-life snuff movie where Meiwes ate part of Brandes’s body – filming that act at the same time! Meiwes wasn’t too pleased with how it tasted (finding it rather chewy) and decided against eating the rest of it. He retired to read a Star Trek book while Brandes bled to death in the bathtub. After Brandes died, Meiwes ate the rest of him. When he was arrested, someone had to watch that video…
MoBrosStudios was a popular video creator well known for creating videos known as YouTube Poop, YTP were video channels that included mash-ups of various shows that blended together a weird or funny story. People like such videos but the creators are playing a dangerous game because all of the footage they are using is copyrighted and MoBrosStudios was no different. Because the creators used footage from SpongeBob Squarepants and other intellectual property, so received multiple copyright strikes from major companies like Viacom, resulting in the videos being taken down and despite MoBrosStudios trying to make a comeback in 2016, similar videos like before resulted in even more copyright strikes across the world, meaning his videos are lost. There are certain ways to dodge the copyright strikes but perhaps this creator felt not doing this was “living on the edge?”
3. Sandy Hook Surveillance Footage
Sandy Hook was one of the greatest tragedies in recent American history. The elementary school in Newtown Connecticut became the target for 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who murdered 20 six and seven-year-olds in 2012. And although footage of the CCTV emerged of Lanza at the school and was played out through much of the media despite much of the surveillance being redacted for understandable reasons. It is clear that the police held back much of the footage to not inflict such heartless barbarism on the public and more importantly to avoid the families of the murdered children seeing the deaths of their loved ones. However, in the internet day and age the lack of footage, or the video censored with a blue redacted label cause many people to speculate over whether the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.
2. Columbine “Basement Tapes”
Another infamous school shooting was the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado in 1999. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 of their fellow students and wounded more than 20 others, raising much questions and debate in a nation divided by the Second Amendment, or the right to bear arms in the US. Many blamed games like Doom and the music of Marilyn Manson were blamed for the murderous designs of the two high school boys. Michael Moore even produced a documentary called Bowling for Columbine about the tragic massacre. However, more rumors circulate about the shooting, one of them being the “Basement Tapes.” Allegedly this footage is a home video recording of Klebold and Harris filming themselves talking about which of their fellow students at Columbine High they would like to kill and a transcript exists of the video but the videos themselves are believed to have been destroyed or hidden by the FBI.
1. Live News
Mental illness is a dreadful blight on society and is often an unseen one too. Christine Chubbuck was a news anchor based in Florida who openly despised the sensationalized nature of news reporting, terming it “blood and guts media.” Chubbuck suffered from depression and volunteered to do a piece for the station about mental illness and her research covered such things as asking police the most common gun used in suicides. One day in 1974, Chubbuck informed colleagues that she needed to read a piece before the usual news schedule and several minutes into the broadcast she faced one of the cameras, said: “latest blood and guts in living color,” before shooting herself. This was on live television and because of that and the fact it was in the 70s, there are no known recordings of the incident and videos claiming to be footage of it are regularly debunked.
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