Channel Videos from Tom Scott

A Million Dollars vs A Billion Dollars, Visualized: A Road Trip
480,669 views - 07/13/20
There are lots of ways to compare a million to a billion, but most of them use volume. And I think that's a mistake, because volume just...
The Abandoned Hill With Two Members Of Parliament
833,109 views - 07/06/20
Old Sarum, in Wiltshire, is a now-desolate hillfort run by English Heritage. But it was once one of the most important sites in southern...
Why You Can Spot Bad Green Screen
2,042,729 views - 06/29/20
Green screen looks terrible sometimes. Here's why. • Get access to CuriosityStream, including Nebula and my original series, for just...
I Asked 64,182 People About “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells”. Here's What I Found Out.
1,580,685 views - 06/22/20
Thanks to Jack from Jacksfilms on piano: • And thanks to everyone who answered! Sources and a data...
The World's First Internet Bench
898,536 views - 06/15/20
In the Abbey Gardens of Bury St Edmunds, in a quiet corner of a park, sits the World's First Internet Bench. Well, sort of. It's been...
How England's Oldest Road Was Nearly Lost Forever
715,235 views - 06/08/20
The Icknield Way, in south-east England, is a road and footpath that's been part of the landscape for millennia. But if parts of it...
The Worst Typo I Ever Made
2,037,497 views - 06/01/20
When 'undo' won't do. • Sponsored by Dashlane, the password manager. Get a 30-day free trial at • MORE...
Ə: The Most Common Vowel in English
951,416 views - 05/25/20
"Schwa" is the most common vowel in English. Every English speaker uses it, all the time, but most people have never heard of it. •...
Why Some Remastered Music Videos Look Awful
1,609,318 views - 05/18/20
This isn't "the way they were meant to be seen". • Join CuriosityStream, including access to Nebula and my original series, for only...
Are There Problems That Computers Can't Solve?
1,242,217 views - 05/11/20
All about Hilbert's Decision Problem, Turing's solution, and a machine that vanishes in a puff of logic. MORE BASICS:...
The Hidden Rules of Conversation
1,459,800 views - 05/04/20
Gricean Maxims are a vital part of how we understand each other: a set of... well, maybe "rules" is a bit strong. They're guidelines that...
Why This British Crossroads Is So Dangerous
1,642,259 views - 04/27/20
Ipley Cross, in the middle of the New Forest, is one of the most dangerous road junctions in Britain. Why? • Thanks to Bez, whoever you...
Why You Can't Name A File CON In Windows
2,877,455 views - 04/20/20
The short answer is "backwards compatibility". The long answer is... well, it's the rest of this video. MORE BASICS:...
Abso-b████y-lutely: Expletive Infixation
1,124,806 views - 04/13/20
There are rules in the English language that you've probably never been taught, but you know anyway: how to split apart words with...
This Video Has 15,342,698 Views
15,342,698 views - 04/06/20
The title of this video should change with the times. But nothing lasts forever: here's the story of how I made it work, why it used to...
Why Dark Video Is A Terrible Blocky Mess
1,903,732 views - 03/30/20
Dark scenes in television, YouTube, and streaming platforms all look pixelated and blocky. Here's why. Animation by William Marler:...
YouTube's Copyright System Isn't Broken. The World's Is.
2,673,070 views - 03/23/20
No copyright infringement intended. | Watch Money, my new Nebula Original series, when you join CuriosityStream for only $2.99/month:...
Inside The Billion-Euro Nuclear Reactor That Was Never Switched On
1,405,761 views - 03/16/20
Zwentendorf Nuclear Power Plant, in Austria, was ready to go: it just needed starting up. But that never happened, and forty years later,...
Why You Can't Buy Dasani Water in Britain
3,262,390 views - 03/09/20
Coca-Cola's brand of bottled water, Dasani, was a flop in the UK after the public realised it was just filtered tap water. But the...
Stopping A Laser Beam In Mid-Air
1,753,500 views - 03/02/20
Lasers travel at the speed of light. You can't stop one in mid-air like Kylo Ren. Except: we just did. Here's how. • Seb's video:...
The Country Where All Public Transit Is Free
1,080,096 views - 02/24/20
From March 1st 2020, Luxembourg will have free public transit throughout the country: you'll be able to travel on buses, trains, trams,...
The Sentences Computers Can't Understand, But Humans Can
1,804,267 views - 02/17/20
The Winograd schema is a language test for intelligent computers. So far, they're not doing well. MORE LANGUAGE FILES:...
Why The Dutch Headwind Cycling Championships Are Difficult And Amazing
1,249,346 views - 02/10/20
About once a year, on the Oosterscheldekering barrier in the south of the Netherlands, there is NK Tegenwindfietsen: a bicycle race...
Why TRUE + TRUE = 2: Data Types
487,785 views - 02/03/20
INT, BOOLEAN, STRING and FLOAT: these are the things that data is made of. • Sponsored by Dashlane — for free on your first device @...
The Bridge That's In Two Countries At The Same Time
888,450 views - 01/27/20
Schengen is a small town in Luxembourg, on the borders with France and Germany. But one of those borders is a little more complicated:...
How To Grow A Martian Salad On Earth
257,417 views - 01/20/20
Subscribe to Aspect Science! or start with Tom's video on what would happen if a...
How Neurosurgeons Navigate Inside The Brain
489,159 views - 01/13/20
Go subscribe to Brainbook! or start with Alex's video on a day in the life of a...
Why My Teenage Code Was Terrible: Sorting Algorithms and Big O Notation
993,653 views - 01/06/20
When I was a teenager, I wrote some terrible code. Here's why. • Sponsored by Dashlane — for free on your first device @...
Why 2020 Started On December 30th
1,713,554 views - 12/30/19
Weird calendar edge-cases and computer bugs. It's an old-school video. • The Fasthosts Techie Test competition is now closed! Learn more...
Why Do We Move Our Hands When We Talk?
701,148 views - 12/23/19
Gestures are a really important part of language. But how do we use them, and why? MORE LANGUAGE FILES:...
Why The World's Littlest Skyscraper Was A Massive Scam
1,653,389 views - 12/16/19
In Wichita Falls, Texas, the Newby-McMahon Building stands 480 inches tall. Not 480 feet: 480 inches. There's a story of a smooth-talking...
Why Electronic Voting Is Still A Bad Idea
1,782,507 views - 12/09/19
We still shouldn't be using electronic voting. Here's why. • Sponsored by Dashlane — for free on your first device @...
Can The Words You Read Change Your Behavior?
541,236 views - 12/02/19
"Priming" is the idea that the words you read can change the way you act. And yes, there are papers that show an effect: but we also need...
Is The World Running Out Of Helium?
1,043,958 views - 11/25/19
At the National Helium Reserve in Amarillo, Texas, the US government once stored 32 billion cubic feet of helium. There have been...
Why The Elevator Shaft Was Invented Before The Elevator
921,182 views - 11/18/19
It sounds ridiculous, but it's true. At the Cooper Union Foundation Building in New York, there's the world's first elevator shaft:...
I Almost Learned To Fly In The World's Only Wingsuit Tunnel
732,869 views - 11/11/19
In Stockholm, there's a diagonal wind tunnel, used for one very specific purpose: learning to fly a wingsuit. I tried. I almost managed...
How The Netherlands Simulated The Sea Before Computers: The Waterloopbos
908,898 views - 11/04/19
"Build some models" seems obvious: but this is a story of ingenuity, of using natural resources well, and of a country that humans...
This Video Is Sponsored By ███ VPN
2,231,742 views - 10/28/19
I tried to write a more honest VPN commercial. The sponsor wasn't happy about it. • Get ██ days of ███ VPN free at ██████.com/honest The...
The Giant Art That Keeps Planes Quiet
1,295,242 views - 10/21/19
Next to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the Buitenschot Land Art Park, a giant set of ridges and furrows cut into the landscape. Yes, it's...
Why Helsinki's Library Robots Aren't Important
900,390 views - 10/14/19
Oodi, the new Helsinki Library, has robots to help reshelve books. They get a lot of press attention. But they're not the important part...
The Self-Driving Race Car
668,288 views - 10/07/19
I got an email asking if I wanted to be driven around the most famous racetrack in Britain by an autonomous racing car. I wasn't going to...
Inside The Tunnels That Will Store Nuclear Waste For 100,000 Years
1,485,425 views - 09/30/19
Onkalo, on the Finnish island of Olkiluoto, is planned to be the first geologic storage facility for high-level nuclear waste: eventually...
What Counts As The World's Shortest River?
1,284,800 views - 09/23/19
If you've been a subscriber for a while, you probably know where this one is going. Although you may still be surprised about where I...
The Toxic Pit With A $3 Admission Fee
2,042,373 views - 09/16/19
The Berkeley Pit, in Butte, Montana, was once the richest hill on Earth: the Anaconda Copper Mine. Now: it's not all that rich, and it's...
The Only Bit Of Louisiana's Coast That Isn't Sinking
957,728 views - 09/09/19
On a coastline that's steadily sinking under the waves, the Wax Lake Delta is rising: which is a wonderful thing for...
Cash and Grab (with Bird Keeper Toby and Inés from Draw Curiosity)
153,358 views - 09/05/19
I'll say this about this week's Game Garage: we definitely had fun. Thanks to Toby: and Inés:...
The Language Sounds That Could Exist, But Don't
2,696,439 views - 09/02/19
The International Phonetic Alphabet: one sound for each symbol, and one symbol for each sound. Except for the sounds we can't make. Pull...
Checkpoint (with Ashens and the Polybius Heist crew)
213,955 views - 08/29/19
This game turned out a lot more stressful than we thought it would. Thanks to ASHENS and the POLYBIUS HEIST crew, you can watch their...
I'm Not A Robot ✅
1,788,052 views - 08/26/19
What those boxes are for, and why you might not have to click them soon. • Sponsored by Dashlane —try 30 days for free at:...
Personal Best (with dodie, Sammy Paul, Daniel J Layton and Reb Day)
301,076 views - 08/22/19
We're back! New games, same garage. Thanks to the crew from SOME LOVELY BOARD GAMES: Dodie:...
Flying A Plane With Fireworks On The Wings
763,662 views - 08/19/19
Aerosparx are a British aerobatics team that perform displays with fireworks attached to their wings. This is how they do it. More about...
The Two Generals’ Problem
3,003,760 views - 08/12/19
Time to tell a story about idempotency, computer science, and the Night of the Multiple Orders. • Sponsored by Dashlane —try 30 days for...
Why “No Problem” Can Seem Rude: Phatic Expressions
1,779,560 views - 08/05/19
"Hello!" "Thank you!" "You're welcome!" These are all phatic expressions, and people can argue about them. Pull down the description for...
The Fetch-Execute Cycle: What's Your Computer Actually Doing?
715,761 views - 07/29/19
The fetch-execute cycle is the basis of everything your computer or phone does. This is literally The Basics. • Sponsored by Dashlane...
How To Stop A Colossal Bridge Corroding
1,120,921 views - 07/22/19
A decade ago, engineers found the Humber Bridge had the same problem as many of the world's suspension bridges: unexpectedly fast...
why typing like this is sometimes okay.
1,931,568 views - 07/15/19
Language changes over time, and that's fine. Time for a dose of descriptivism, as the Language Files return. Pull down the description...
How To Build An App: Everything You Didn't Know You Needed To Know
338,636 views - 07/09/19
Watch all 15 episodes right now: • This educational series is...
The Giant Underground Tunnels Protecting Tokyo From Floods
1,320,650 views - 07/08/19
If you believe the hype, then the Metropolitan Area Underground Discharge Channel stops Tokyo flooding. It doesn't. But it is one...
Why You Can't Trust Me
2,137,386 views - 07/01/19
I went to a place called Coober Pedy to tell a story about water. • Sponsored by Audible: Go to or text...
The World's First Solar Powered Train
705,410 views - 06/24/19
The Byron Bay Railroad Company runs the world's first 100% solar-powered train. It wouldn't work everywhere - but in the bright sunshine...
Mr Olds’ Remarkable Elevator
1,030,711 views - 06/17/19
Olds Engineering, a traditional workshop and foundry, sits in Maryborough, Australia. It's not the sort of place you'd expect to find a...
The One-Lane Bridge Shared By Cars And Trains
1,062,886 views - 06/10/19
Near Hindon, on the South Island of New Zealand, there's one of only two remaining one-lane road-rail bridges in the country. No...
What Counts As The Steepest Street In The World?
1,420,943 views - 06/03/19
Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, has the Guinness World Record for "steepest paved road over a continuous distance of more than...
Testing A Zip Line That Goes Round Corners
1,230,501 views - 05/27/19
If you invent a new theme park or amusement ride, how do you test it to make sure it's safe? There's no Federal Bureau of Zip Lines. I...
The Circle Visible From Space
2,195,760 views - 05/20/19
Mount Taranaki, on the North Island of New Zealand, is a large-scale circle that's visible from space: a stratovolcano with six miles of...
The First 3D Color X-Rays
1,002,500 views - 05/13/19
At the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand, the team at Mars Bioimaging are using detector equipment originally...
The Brain-Eating Amoebas of Kerosene Creek
1,932,998 views - 05/06/19
Kerosene Creek is a natural hot spring near Rotorua, on the North Island of New Zealand. And there have been official warnings for years:...
The Hundred-Tonne Robots That Help Keep New Zealand Running
597,083 views - 04/29/19
The Ports of Auckland are automating their straddle carriers, which might not seem like much: until you phrase it as "hundred-tonne...
The Sculpture That Looks Like A Real-Life Cartoon
3,708,739 views - 04/22/19
Gibbs Farm, in New Zealand, is an enormous private sculpture collection. Its most famous piece is Horizons, by Neil Dawson - and it looks...
Where Two Oceans Meet, Debunked
2,240,054 views - 04/15/19
Cape Reinga, at the very northern tip of New Zealand, is known for being where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, where two oceans...
I Drove My Childhood Favorite Racing Game In Real Life
716,370 views - 04/08/19
When I was a kid, I played the demo version of Need for Speed II a lot. Just the demo: it came free on a CD with a monthly computer...
The Artificial Gravity Lab
2,022,005 views - 04/02/19
In the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory at Brandeis University, there's the Artificial Gravity Facility: otherwise known as...
Blindfold Balancing in the Spinning Space Chair
337,904 views - 03/25/19
The Multi-Axes Rotation and Tilt Device (MART) is used for spatial orientation experiments: it's a chair balanced on a metaphorical...
The Library of Rare Colors
934,967 views - 03/18/19
The Forbes Pigment Collection at the Harvard Art Museums is a collection of pigments, binders, and other art materials for researchers to...
Keep It or Dump It (with Matthew, who is lovely but not internet famous)
269,397 views - 03/14/19
The final episode in this run of the Game Garage gives us a Proper Quiz: complete with all-or-nothing questions and a prize of FIVE...
The Last Play-For-Cash Fascination Parlor
608,467 views - 03/11/19
On Nantasket Beach in the seaside town of Hull, Massachusetts, sits the last play-for-cash Fascination Parlor in the world. It's a...
Above Average (with too many people to fit in this title)
469,406 views - 03/07/19
Today in the Game Garage, it's not about what you know: it's about what you can do. Pull down the description for the full cast and links...
The Broken Building That Must Not Be Destroyed
1,673,351 views - 03/04/19
St Peter's Seminary sits in woodland about an hour west of Glasgow, near a village called Cardross. If you like Brutalist architecture,...
Weight For It (with Evan Edinger and Luke Cutforth)
302,236 views - 02/28/19
Welcome to the Game Garage! A series of three new, experimental quizzes and games. Thanks today to Evan Edinger -...
A Questionable Experiment in Motion Sickness
694,087 views - 02/25/19
Go see William Osman's video about building the car! - and thanks to Michael Reeves for being...
Why Denmark Is .23 Seconds Behind The World
2,881,245 views - 02/18/19
Measuring time is a complicated thing. Computers, banks, and stock markets in Denmark all use UTC, the international standard: but...
How Auto-Tune Works
1,153,067 views - 02/11/19
Featuring the Gregory Brothers! Go subscribe to them: Pitch correction: it can make terrible singers sound...
Slowing Down A Stock Exchange With 38 Miles Of Cable
2,187,785 views - 02/04/19
High-frequency traders have a few tactics on stock exchanges: but simply put, they gather price information faster than anyone else,...
I Got To See And Hold My Brain
354,079 views - 01/28/19
Subscribe to Neuro Transmissions! or start with their video on how to train a cat to...
This Is Your Brain On Stale Air
1,475,747 views - 01/21/19
Subscribe to Kurtis Baute! or start with his one-take video on the history of...
How Knot To Hang A Painting
974,105 views - 01/14/19
Subscribe to Up and Atom! or start with Jade's video on quantum tunnelling:...
The Fishermen That Hold Their Breath For 10 Minutes
876,271 views - 01/07/19
Go subscribe to Medlife Crisis! or start with Rohin's video on why you shouldn't...
Why NASA Spun Astronauts Around, But Doesn't Any More
1,285,892 views - 12/31/18
The Multi Axis Trainer, or MAT, is an icon of space exploration and astronaut training. But other than spinning round kids at Space Camp:...
The Canyon That Humans Made By Accident
1,305,892 views - 12/24/18
The tourist guides promote it as Georgia's Little Grand Canyon: but this is a scar on the Earth, caused by humans either not...
Stealing Our Friend's Brain Backup PRANK (GONE WRONG!!!) 🤯🤯🤯
253,586 views - 12/20/18
WASSUP KINGDOM, it is time to GET JACK BACK for last week. Callum has Jack's backup and it's time for some FUN. Download link:...
The Consequences of Your Code
949,344 views - 12/17/18
This is the story of one of the best, and also one of the worst, text messages I've ever received. It's about harm, about consequences,...
Your New Social Credit Score
624,994 views - 12/13/18
From January, every citizen of England and Wales will have a new social credit score. Advice from the Department for Community and...
The City of Golf Carts
915,311 views - 12/10/18
Some American cities use buses, or trams, or trains. Peachtree City, Georgia, has a different solution: it's not quite public transit,...
The Artificial Intelligence That Deleted A Century
1,145,184 views - 12/06/18
In the last week of December, 2028, humanity forgot about more than a century of pop culture. You've probably never thought about it, and...
The Other Tree That Owns Itself
641,455 views - 12/03/18
The Tree That Owns Itself in Athens, Georgia is well known. The other Tree That Owns Itself in Eufaula, Alabama, really isn't. It's the...
The Sweater Curse and Clothing Controversies: Citation Needed 8x06
334,290 views - 11/29/18
That's it! That's the end of the series. You made it! Congratulations! Enjoy the best mime that Matt has ever done. BONUS MATERIAL:...
An American Stonehenge: The Mysterious Georgia Guidestones
725,999 views - 11/26/18
In a field near Elberton, Georgia, USA, sit a set of mysterious standing stones: mysterious not because they're ancient, but because they...
Testing The World's Longest Echo
2,895,866 views - 11/19/18
Technically, the Inchindown oil tanks in Invergordon, Scotland, have the world's longest reverberation, but that makes a much worse...
Why Computers Can't Count Sometimes
1,827,641 views - 11/12/18
Sometimes, numbers on sites like YouTube and Twitter jump up and down; subscriber counts lag, like-counts bounce all over the place. Why...
Britain's Largest Battery Is Actually A Lake
1,147,860 views - 11/05/18
Dinorwig Power Station, otherwise known as Electric Mountain, is a pumped-storage hydro station in Llanberis, Wales. And yes: it's...
Why Do London's Manholes Keep Exploding?
962,581 views - 10/29/18
Every month or so, somewhere in London, a manhole explodes. It's so common that it doesn't make the news unless it's spectacular or...