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15 YouTube Channels and Shows that Will Help You Get Smarter


I love science! I may be bad at it, but I enjoy listening to smart people explain stuff like physics, chemistry, or astronomy. I get all giddy when the channels on this list post a new video. Yeah, I’m a nerd, but why wouldn’t you want to be one? Science is everywhere, it surrounds us, you just have to learn to interpret it. Doesn’t matter how old you are, many of these channels and shows on YouTube are appropriate for people of any age, as they cover topics like gaming, pop-culture, music (or, rather, acoustics), and others, aside from your usual physics, philosophy, maths etc.


Full disclosure: this is my personal list of favorites, channels that I follow and watch almost on a daily basis, so I’ve probably missed some that you like. So, go on, drop me a line in the comments with your top 10 educational YouTube channels! I’m always up for some science!


Alrighty then, let’s get nerdy!



1. Crash Course
This amazing channel provides insights into all sorts of scientific and non-scientific disciplines like physics, mythology, economics, games, computer science, and many more! My favorite playlist is, of course, the Astronomy one. Enjoy!



2. Animalogic
Animals are awesome, but they’re way more than just fluffy, scaly, slimy sources of fake Internet points. Danielle Dufault is quite knowledgeable about animals, and gladly provides exciting facts about the critter of the week, or whenever she posts. My favorite has to be this skunk video. Have fun blanking that out of your memory. Damn, nature, you cray-cray!



3. ElectroBOOM
I’ll just quote his “about me”: find the craziness in engineering from me, Mehdi Sadaghdar, but don’t try them at home…” Nothing to add here, except for… do NOT try the things he’s doing at home. In fact, if you’re not a trained electrical engineer – just outright don’t do it anywhere. Just enjoy the goofiest “dont’s” from Mehdi!

4. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
“Videos explaining things with optimistic nihilism” – well said, Kurzgesagt! The time that goes into researching and animating is more than you may think, making their videos extremely well-made, and beautiful. They’re currently making just around one animation video per month, but it’s worth the wait. Here, check out this video on black holes!



5. It’s Okay to Be Smart
Meet Joe Hanson, Ph.D. Joe will make sure you understand everything he’s going to throw your way, in addition to telling you how it all works. From astronomy, and sociology, to history, and biology, Joe will cover all your bases, so relax and start binging!

6. LEMMiNo
This channel used to be all about memes, hence the name in the links, but currently that same 20-something Swedish guy with a funny accent makes cool documentaries and lists about a variety of topics! All of them well-researched, and fact-checked. Actually, here, watch this one about “swallowing spiders in your sleep”, and how it’s probably a bag of dog poop (not literally, of course).



7. PBS Idea Channel
Wanna watch a PBS show that examines the connections between pop culture, technology, and art? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a video on the latest fad – the fidget spinners. Have fun!



8. Wisecrack
In their own words, Wisecrack is a collection of comedians, academics, filmmakers, and artists who are super curious about the world around them. Their channel explores cool topics in unusual and quite entertaining ways. The best part of this channel is the variety of shows. Again, I’ll quote their “about” page:


“WISECRACK EDITION: Dive into the DEEPER MEANING of your favorite games, movies, TV shows, albums, and more!
EARTHLING CINEMA: Explore FILM with Garyx Wormuloid. Your favorite movies get probed by an awkward alien.
8-BIT PHILOSOPHY: Learn PHILOSOPHY from classic video games. Shiny little pixels answer humanity’s most important questions.
THUG NOTES: Explore LITERATURE with yo’ boy Sparky Sweets, PhD. It’s classic literature, original gangster.”


So, as you can see, there’s something for everything!

9. Veritasium
Veritasium is all about science, facts, and having fun! One day Derek’s checking if the water in the toilet swirls the other way in US and Australia, and another day he’s making fire using a bag of water! What’s not to love here? The randomness of topics actually adds to the experience.



10. Vsauce
Vsauce, Michael here. What would happen if a list of educational YouTube channels did not include Vsauce? … Since debuting in 2010, VSauce has gained more than a 12 million followers, making it the most popular educational channel on YouTube. If you’ve ever had a mind-bending “what if” question, like say, “what if everyone jumped at once?” or “what if the Sun disappeared?” – you’re gonna fall in love with this channel.

11. MinutePhysics and MinuteEarth
It only takes Henry Reich a minute (of five) to explain some of the most complex scientific theories. And he does it in a cute animated style. MinutePhysics is the first educational channel I’ve subscribed to maybe 4 years ago, so there will always be a special place for it in my sub box.


MinuteEarth is Henry’s side project, that covers a variety of topics about our planet. Same awesome animation style, too! Worth a sub, 100%.



12. SciShow
Hosted (most of the time) by the beautiful human being that is Hank Greene, SciShow can take a number of different forms, and explore various topics, ranging from physics, and inventions, to reporting on discovering new species. It’s basically a news channel for dorks like me.



13. Because Science! @Nerdist
Kyle Hill is a super talented, and funny geek, but he’s also smart AF, which allows him to make videos on science of, let’s say, Wolverine’s claws, or Superman’s skin, or SURPRISE LIGHTSABERS! If you’re into pop culture and you often wonder about who would win in a fight between Wolvie and Supes – look no further. Because science!

14. The SCIENCE! @ShoddyCast
Do you like playing games? If you do, you’re gonna love Austin’s “The SCIENCE!” show. He’ll tell you how dead we’d all be if Pokeballs were real, and what would happen to you in Fallout 4, if you jumped off a chopper wearing your power armor. Basically, stuff you never thought you wanted to know! Oh and, I gotta warn you, that man swears like a cobbler, so yeah… but he’s still amazing!



15. Film Theory and Game Theory
Say hi to MatPat and his crew! He’s the “annoying dude overanalyzing video games on the Internet”. Well, at least that’s how some people view him. I gotta say, some of the theories are quite slim, while other are super solid, but with a medium like Games, where nothing is set in stone, it’s hard to stay consistent. Either way MatPat’s in charge of both Game Theory and Film Theory channels, which cover, you guessed it, theories on games and movies.


If you like decoding Game of Thrones lore, researching the tech of Halo, dissecting the physics of Dragonball’s Kamehameha wave, picking apart the dark secrets of the Mario universe, or figuring out how to win the Hunger Games using Game Theory, then join the community of Loyal Theorists!