Can You Swim in Shade Balls?

  • Published: 13 June 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 • 21 693

  • Jakob Jakobson
    Jakob Jakobson  53 minutes back

    just got my signed shadeball today! thank you, this is a very cool thing to have

    • Gacha Grape
      Gacha Grape  58 minutes back

      So much science in this vid

      • Robert McCain
        Robert McCain  4 hours back

        I got my ball today. So happy. My girlfriend thinks I'm crazy.

        • Odin
          Odin  4 hours back

          Got mine #7157 Thank you ! My wife can't understand what do i need it for :D

          • Daniel Velinov
            Daniel Velinov  6 hours back

            Reminds me of Empty Walls video :D

            • _ C_
              _ C_  6 hours back

              Received mine #3893 20/07/18

              • Deep hug
                Deep hug  6 hours back

                Dude keep your fingers together.

                • Fight Food - Boxing Stories

                  My balls are always in the shade

                  • Rhys Evans
                    Rhys Evans  9 hours back

                    I received my shade ball today! (20/07/2019) thanks so much! It means so much to me that I now own and can physically touch and hold something that 35M people have watched in a video and one held by one of my favourite YouTubers. Thanks again! Shipping to the UK and everywhere else must have cost a fortune!

                    • Salvi
                      Salvi  10 hours back

                      Got mine #8159

                      • Deep hug
                        Deep hug  6 hours back

                        HOLY SHEET I actually just got my SHADE BALL in the mail! Thanks! its dope

                    • Rob Alinder
                      Rob Alinder  14 hours back

                      I just received my shadeball. #450!

                      • Notification Squad
                        Notification Squad  14 hours back

                        This video gave me a mini heart attack as a lifeguard.

                        • Notification Squad
                          Notification Squad  14 hours back

                          Got my ball, #5606. This guy is a legend!

                          • 1,000 SUBS WITH 2 VIDEOS
                            1,000 SUBS WITH 2 VIDEOS  14 hours back

                            Just got my shade ball in today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #5332

                            • Raymonds Entertainment
                              Raymonds Entertainment  18 hours back

                              Did the shade balls hurt your skin balls when you jumped in?

                              • Taylor taylor
                                Taylor taylor  20 hours back

                                He loves them balls in his face

                                • shanedestroyer
                                  shanedestroyer  21 hours back

                                  Just got my ball, completely forgot about it. #230 cool, thanks!

                                  • Wat Dat
                                    Wat Dat  17 hours back

                                    Damn, nice. I was late to the party and got #7782

                                • Firealarm102
                                  Firealarm102  22 hours back

                                  Ayy!!! Just got my signed ball today!! #9,165

                                • Rebekah Welsh
                                  Rebekah Welsh  23 hours back

                                  Man 1 "It's time to release the balls!"
                                  Man2 *starts pulling panties down*
                                  "No! The shade balls ,not your balls!"
                                  Man 2 " uww😐"
                                  Man1 * slaps face*

                                  • Delve
                                    Delve  1 days back

                                    Just got my shadeball, Derek! I can't begin to describe how excited I am! Thanks!

                                    • Anthony TeixeirA
                                      Anthony TeixeirA  1 days back

                                      I just got mine I was so confused what this random package was in the mail ball number 5615

                                      • SarocTurtleGaming
                                        SarocTurtleGaming  1 days back

                                        I have ball #7966 !!!

                                        • Spalone Babagoosegooties

                                          Just got my shadeball yesterday! No idea what I'm gonna do with it, but it's certainly a conversation piece.

                                          • Kady Overby
                                            Kady Overby  1 days back


                                            • Shucheng Chao
                                              Shucheng Chao  1 days back

                                              I can't believe I actually received a shade ball today! Thank you Derek you are THE BEST!!!!!

                                              • TheEAtoday
                                                TheEAtoday  2 days back

                                                HOLY SHEET I actually just got my SHADE BALL in the mail! Thanks! its dope

                                              • daniel mcCann
                                                daniel mcCann  2 days back

                                                Dude keep your fingers together.

                                                • Monique Doyle
                                                  Monique Doyle  2 days back

                                                  Anxiety 🥴🥴🥴

                                                  • Cassidy Anthony
                                                    Cassidy Anthony  2 days back

                                                    Roses are red
                                                    Murder is to
                                                    Did I see a drone shadow
                                                    YAY I got a like
                                                    Wait why is it blue

                                                    • Kyan Kohler
                                                      Kyan Kohler  2 days back

                                                      3:46 thats what she said

                                                      • Kroneru
                                                        Kroneru  2 days back

                                                        Received mines today. Thanks.

                                                        • Barry Young
                                                          Barry Young  2 days back

                                                          Cool video. Got my Shade Ball in the mail today. Keep up the kool vids!

                                                          • Starfire Technology
                                                            Starfire Technology  2 days back

                                                            Just recieved ball 5177 today! Thanks!

                                                            • Khiem Huynh
                                                              Khiem Huynh  2 days back

                                                              Can I swim in that too

                                                              • Sara Ryan
                                                                Sara Ryan  2 days back

                                                                I love youuuuuuuuuu 😋😋😋😋

                                                                • Horizon Freeze
                                                                  Horizon Freeze  3 days back

                                                                  3:44 he prob used to it by now

                                                                  • Marlomen Sarsuelo
                                                                    Marlomen Sarsuelo  3 days back

                                                                    That breaststroke tho

                                                                    • Julia Friedman-Parks
                                                                      Julia Friedman-Parks  3 days back

                                                                      Why does this Video give me some cool ideas

                                                                      • Vivian Trinh
                                                                        Vivian Trinh  3 days back

                                                                        Can you REALLY swim in Shade Balls?

                                                                        • GameCorruption's
                                                                          GameCorruption's  3 days back

                                                                          can yow run on them

                                                                          • Kid 8v8teR
                                                                            Kid 8v8teR  3 days back

                                                                            What is a shade ball

                                                                            • Bruna Lopes
                                                                              Bruna Lopes  3 days back

                                                                              shouldnt the balls be white? black attracks more sunlight therefore more heat

                                                                              • TheLastDogInTown
                                                                                TheLastDogInTown  3 days back

                                                                                3:53 who else saw the drone shadow

                                                                                • princess lib
                                                                                  princess lib  3 days back

                                                                                  can you stay under there for 2 min

                                                                                  • Rob Anderson
                                                                                    Rob Anderson  3 days back

                                                                                    His guy is like a rip-off Mark Rober

                                                                                    • Dan Hayes
                                                                                      Dan Hayes  3 days back

                                                                                      Hey Derek. Longtime viewer and subscriber here. I watched your video explaining where the channel may go in the future and how Youtube's algorithms work so I appreciate the fair warning, but this has been your first video that felt clickbaity to me. And I don't mean the title, I mean the actual content. This type of video sorta goes into Mark Rober territory- a fun, wacky video with a little science to justify it, but what I come to you for is the science presented with authenticity and thoughtfulness. To me, this is your brand. Then again, Mark Rober's videos get tens of millions of views, so I do not fault you for trying to chase the Youtube dragon.

                                                                                      Just wanted to chime in. Hope you have success promoting science in whichever fashion works best for you.


                                                                                      • Freddie Gladwin
                                                                                        Freddie Gladwin  3 days back

                                                                                        Try and run across a pool of shade balls

                                                                                        • Сергей Павлов

                                                                                          give me please 1 balls = )