Can You Swim in Shade Balls?

  • Published on Jun 13, 2019
  • I bought 10,000 shade balls and tried to swim in them. They appear to act like a non-Newtonian fluid: rigid under high shear stress, but they flow like a liquid under low shear.
    Get a signed shade ball by supporting Veritasium:
    Receiving a shade ball:
    1. Support Veritasium on any Patreon tier and enter your address
    2. In about a month I will send out signed shade balls
    3. I will cover all shipping costs but if things get really crazy I will prioritize existing Patreon supporters and higher tiers
    My sense was that swimming in shade balls would be difficult but still doable. This was roughly true for the single layer of shade balls. The shade balls slide past each other so they act like a liquid, albeit a viscous one owing to their significant inertia. It's much more intense exercise and it's also annoying to be bombarded with shade balls on all sides of your body, particularly your head. With multi-layer shade balls (as exists on much of LA reservoir) things get significantly more difficult. The balls bunch together and when you try to move through them quickly, they become more rigid, providing significant resistance to motion. This has the benefit that you can lie on them and as long as they stay trapped under you, you can float on them. But a little bit of motion causes them to move around and you sink through quickly.
    Huge thanks to:
    Jordan Schnabel and Cristian Carretero for filming and swimming and providing lifeguard services.
    Raquel Nuno for filming and putting up with me.
    Special thanks to Patreon supporters:
    Donal Botkin, Michael Krugman, Ron Neal, Stan Presolski, Terrance Shepherd, Penward Rhyme and everyone who provided feedback on an early draft of this video.
    Music from "Dubstep Mammoth 2" "Finally Here (Instrumental)" "The Last Arrival" "Sundown Love (Instrumental)"

Comments • 21 608

  • Michael Ganzer
    Michael Ganzer 3 hours ago

    Now, this very video finally made me become one of your Lithium patreons, quite sure to go up the ranks - and a patreon at all for my very first time. Thank you so much for you videos and for your scientific and entertaining insight. Not long ago I watched your personal story. This is when I found myself to understand your deep dig into your own motivation. I'm glad that you've made it so far. Keep up with your good work! I spared a bootle of my selfmade wine for you, just in case I'll ever meet you, I'll bring it along.

  • Emely
    Emely 4 hours ago


  • Emely
    Emely 4 hours ago

    What are shade balls?

  • shelbel82
    shelbel82 11 hours ago

    I live in Alabama so we don't get a lot

  • Michael Anderson
    Michael Anderson 15 hours ago +1

    Alright, you’re kind of throwing some shade at us with this one.

  • Live By Faith
    Live By Faith 19 hours ago

    It look like a boba tea lol

  • Nutella
    Nutella 19 hours ago

    Nobody gonna talk about how he jumped so far?

  • Mark Thompson
    Mark Thompson 19 hours ago


  • PorkNotBeef
    PorkNotBeef 20 hours ago

    The near perfect alignment of those balls and the amount of sound is trippin' me out.

  • Paul Kinder
    Paul Kinder 21 hour ago

    Just be honest....the thought of all those black balls made you horney.

  • iTravel Sports
    iTravel Sports Day ago

    How coooool!

  • cmdeane
    cmdeane Day ago

    what a waste of money

  • Whitney Sims
    Whitney Sims Day ago

    Y does this remind me of co co puffs😂

  • NotCharging
    NotCharging Day ago +2

    Wait...couldn’t you just put shade balls over your pool in the winter with a tarp?

  • Blobby YT
    Blobby YT Day ago

    Its bad for the nature because its plastic

  • Ava Gomez
    Ava Gomez Day ago

    this just gave me anxiety

  • Vorcefull Vorce
    Vorcefull Vorce Day ago

    How u get them all out

  • Herbert Coleman
    Herbert Coleman Day ago

    I hope I'm not too late to get a shade ball.

  • Shade Jamison
    Shade Jamison Day ago

    😶 "Shade" balls.....
    My name is shade....

  • A Youtuber
    A Youtuber Day ago

    His poor wrist, imagine signing something 10,000 times

  • Candy Lover
    Candy Lover Day ago

    Do NOT do this at home😉👍

  • Faux Falconry
    Faux Falconry Day ago

    This made my asthma cry on the inside

  • best videos
    best videos Day ago

    I need please .....

  • Paula J
    Paula J Day ago


  • Jessie Dizon
    Jessie Dizon Day ago

    Did you using it to create static energy with chargeable battery inside it goes through a static inside a spinning thing that create static like a duster it creates static when using it so this spinning thing are like that to creating static when its fully charge the battery goes in one collected area of the ball that fully charge again in this collected ball here is the ball with chargeable battery are being drained of its static energy then it goes back again to the spinning static to charge the chargeable battery in the collected ball this are going to spinning like a spiral or drill that fits one ball going back to the spinning static to charge again when the chargeable battery are used as a electricity up the spiral like drill will push it back to spinning static to charge again? ⚡🔆👽

  • Killer Kat
    Killer Kat Day ago

    I'm gonna be a hater here for a second but I have been swimming for almost 8 years now and their swimming wash TERRIBLE
    I am not a hater it just really annoyed me. I seriously love this channel so pls don't kill meh!

    FLEX BOI 2 days ago +1

    The question is how is going to get them out

  • Murugesan A
    Murugesan A 2 days ago +1

    Brother can you do a video on qantum entanglement

  • Saikumar Bunny
    Saikumar Bunny 2 days ago

    It's not 91% .... It's only
    π/4 ~ 78%
    Any thoughts?

  • Naima M. Ali
    Naima M. Ali 2 days ago

    you know what i think? i think david dobrik should totally buy this.

  • Nappypuff
    Nappypuff 2 days ago

    thiis was the most beautiful fluid mosaic ever

  • Lavina Coleman
    Lavina Coleman 2 days ago

    3:46 no homo

  • osamr toro
    osamr toro 2 days ago


  • Geovanni Franco
    Geovanni Franco 2 days ago

    Oof ion think u can bc dats a lot of shade oooo I swear am cringe af

  • Arissa Aispuro
    Arissa Aispuro 2 days ago

    thank u for the clarification ig i won’t be buying 10,000 giant black olives to fill my pool if it’s gonna make it hard for me to swim

  • goth lust
    goth lust 2 days ago

    How much were all those shade balls ?

  • sinekonata
    sinekonata 2 days ago

    Veritasium : The science of shade balls.
    Me : unsubscribe.
    Click bait fish : OMG subscribe.

  • Strawberrycake*-*
    Strawberrycake*-* 2 days ago

    So what’s the purpose of the balls?

  • Jacob the Fishermen99

    That would take me a long time to clean up

  • Savannah Lada
    Savannah Lada 2 days ago +1

    You should make a giant boba tea drink with those😂😂😂

  • Leonid Romanov
    Leonid Romanov 2 days ago

    So, are they like Higgs boson?

  • Charles Mendez
    Charles Mendez 3 days ago

    3:45 he loves it

  • Tyrese James
    Tyrese James 3 days ago

    i cant become one of your because my family is pore and i cant even give you dollar sorry love you tho i hope i cant get one f those balls 😢😢😢😢😢

  • Shoot Me
    Shoot Me 3 days ago +1

    I still want to swim in those

  • Keane Nelson
    Keane Nelson 3 days ago

    Anyone else see how it looked like he was stepping on something in the air when he jumped in

  • Skandar
    Skandar 3 days ago

    This guy has a lot of balls. I also saw 2 balls bouncing over his chin.

  • Lance Trahan
    Lance Trahan 3 days ago +7

    When you got that RUclip/Patreon money:
    "I bought 10,000 shade balls."

  • absolut_height_advantage

    Collect them and donate them to another reservoir

    • Wat Dat
      Wat Dat 3 days ago

      He sold them all. I got one.

  • Daniel de Mattos Gonçalves

    So many people starving to death...

    • Wat Dat
      Wat Dat 3 days ago

      So buy them food you selfish bastard.

  • Angel K
    Angel K 4 days ago

    Only liking for the slowmo portion

  • Diablo Inferno
    Diablo Inferno 4 days ago

    Well... This proves that swimming in shade balls is very hard/pointless

  • Marco the Diamond Apple Guy

    I dint get a single anxiety in this video, is that normal?

    Obviously thats really normal cause i dint have mental issues like you guys, and im already 15

  • VaL 0
    VaL 0 4 days ago +1

    "Light coming through the CRACKS and reflecting off the BALLS"

  • VaL 0
    VaL 0 4 days ago +1

    "Its time to release the balls" Thst sounds.... eh, who cares

  • Nevaeh Wheeler’s Hot Mess Express

    What are these “shade balls”?

  • Jason Wester
    Jason Wester 4 days ago

    So the state that has basically outlawed plastic drinking straws is now covering their drinking water it plastic balls? Is California actually meant to be inhabitable?

    NOWhERE 4 days ago

    this guy has some balls

  • Michelle Rahmoeller
    Michelle Rahmoeller 4 days ago

    Can I pay you to mail me one?? I have to give a presentation on these in a month but I can't find where to buy just one. :(

    • Wat Dat
      Wat Dat 3 days ago

      They've all been sold already. You're a little late

  • candish dew Gacha
    candish dew Gacha 4 days ago

    What about the other type of balls 😂

  • Cmuldoon99
    Cmuldoon99 4 days ago

    shoutout to the worst swimmer ive ever seen

  • sutil Al
    sutil Al 4 days ago

    New disorder is born, Spherephobic.

  • SlicexNxDice612
    SlicexNxDice612 4 days ago

    00:05 when you put it in for the first time

  • dnnxinsta
    dnnxinsta 4 days ago

    Please reply to this comment in 5 years!

  • Alboy the slumped god

    I hate you

  • Roblox is Faceless
    Roblox is Faceless 5 days ago

    2:13 When no nut November is over lol

  • justcanteron 2143
    justcanteron 2143 5 days ago

    this video gives me ANXIETY OMG

  • milan cora
    milan cora 5 days ago

    It looks like the Incredibles sceene where black balls cover Mr Incredible...

  • Hank spongerat
    Hank spongerat 5 days ago

    When he went oh no I felt that XD

  • randy chiggins
    randy chiggins 5 days ago

    How many balls you still got?

    • Wat Dat
      Wat Dat 3 days ago

      none. all sold.

  • iitz Laura & Edily
    iitz Laura & Edily 5 days ago

    Y’all remember the episode from sponges where the fleas are swimming at the top of Sandy’s house well this the now feel old yet?