Can You Swim in Shade Balls?

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  • 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: ve42.co/patreon

    Receiving a shade ball:
    1. Support Veritasium on any Patreon tier and enter your address ve42.co/patreon
    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 epidemicsound.com "Dubstep Mammoth 2" "Finally Here (Instrumental)" "The Last Arrival" "Sundown Love (Instrumental)"

Comments • 22 269

  • Panda slimzz
    Panda slimzz  4 hours back

    When they did a drone shot of them pouring the balls in it reminded me of boba 😂

    • Carl Ruby Højland Nielsen

      Tbh i had no idea what a shade ball was i just clicked cause it looked like those balls from The Imcredibles

      • Andrew Chadwick
        Andrew Chadwick  20 hours back

        8:02 me trying to swim

        • iays
          iays  21 hours back

          cant you swim under it and come up for air wvery 10 seconds or so

          • MrDarkWolfツ
            MrDarkWolfツ  22 hours back

            Below water of the balls is sick!

            • Nicholicious
              Nicholicious  22 hours back

              The school thot at a pool party:

              3:41

              • Angelica Poh
                Angelica Poh  23 hours back

                It looks like metal atoms

                • Mr Gaming 2007
                  Mr Gaming 2007  1 days back

                  Is it just me or does this remind you of that scene from the incredibles where all the balls blasted him and started sticking to him

                  • TheMostEpicPairOfSocks

                    I actually held my breath right before he jumped in without realizing.

                    • Talant Ziadinov
                      Talant Ziadinov  1 days back

                      if you wanna swim trough you have to take deep breaths and dive under it and come up so u can take a break, with the help of the balls staying on the sruface shouldnt be so exhausting ;)

                      • Davis Harry
                        Davis Harry  1 days back

                        Wooow😠😠

                        • MsNooneinparticular
                          MsNooneinparticular  2 days back

                          We're in that weird part of Youtube again, kids.

                          • Leticia Pereira
                            Leticia Pereira  2 days back

                            my god my anxiety is KILLING ME

                            • Captain Morgan IV
                              Captain Morgan IV  2 days back

                              But it's kinda like quicksa-*csapcshdhakshdhdjd*

                              • gloten gloat
                                gloten gloat  2 days back

                                You're a dumbass

                                • JL - 08BN - Thomas Street MS (1654)

                                  That's a lot of tapioca

                                  • sarah docinho
                                    sarah docinho  2 days back

                                    Meu sonho

                                    • A Unfamiliar Account.
                                      A Unfamiliar Account.  2 days back

                                      *_A LOT OF BALLS IN THE FACE_*

                                      • Insert Minecraft Meme Here

                                        "I am swimming... but I'm getting a lot of *balls* in my face."

                                        • Trump's Neck Vagina
                                          Trump's Neck Vagina  2 days back

                                          You got a lot of balls😲

                                          • Leon Chung
                                            Leon Chung  2 days back

                                            Looks like caviar from drone view

                                            • Hafextas
                                              Hafextas  2 days back

                                              this reminds me of The Incredibles part when bob is thrown at with this black sticky balls

                                              • Brittany Walls
                                                Brittany Walls  2 days back

                                                DO NOT TRY AT HOME!!!!!!!

                                                • Sordid Bacon
                                                  Sordid Bacon  3 days back

                                                  He had at least 3 bags left

                                                  • Lord Humungous
                                                    Lord Humungous  3 days back

                                                    Clean up must have been a bitch

                                                    • Music Tho
                                                      Music Tho  3 days back

                                                      How awesome would it be if we could breathe under water? Like we just hold our breath but we never run out of it. How cool would it be to take a weight and put yourself down there and look at the water and the light above you and just stay there.

                                                      • Abhijeet Singh
                                                        Abhijeet Singh  3 days back

                                                        Looked like he was setting himself up for drowning...jeez

                                                        • Thushara Buddhika
                                                          Thushara Buddhika  4 days back

                                                          Is he swimming?

                                                          • Anim MusicTM
                                                            Anim MusicTM  4 days back

                                                            A great place to hide in horror movies

                                                            • Khoaeash Dhawan
                                                              Khoaeash Dhawan  5 days back

                                                              How he signed 10,000 balls

                                                              • Solari Saint-amour
                                                                Solari Saint-amour  5 days back

                                                                If you almost died how you are saved

                                                                • Minemaster2112
                                                                  Minemaster2112  5 days back

                                                                  What is a shade ball

                                                                  • Twitter vBrxzzzy
                                                                    Twitter vBrxzzzy  5 days back

                                                                    Can’t swim in it but u can driv boat in ut

                                                                    • Andre
                                                                      Andre  5 days back

                                                                      Thought i heard shitballs...say it faster

                                                                      • Amy Playz
                                                                        Amy Playz  6 days back

                                                                        But is kinda cool

                                                                        • Amy Playz
                                                                          Amy Playz  6 days back

                                                                          Lol slow mode

                                                                          • Amy Playz
                                                                            Amy Playz  6 days back

                                                                            You might drown

                                                                            • Amy Playz
                                                                              Amy Playz  6 days back

                                                                              No I don’t think so it will be super hard

                                                                              • Tommy Bradfield
                                                                                Tommy Bradfield  6 days back

                                                                                Well mr incredible couldn’t get through them so...

                                                                                • TronGamer38
                                                                                  TronGamer38  6 days back

                                                                                  How is he gonna get those out of the pool?! Lol

                                                                                  • Gaming Utility
                                                                                    Gaming Utility  6 days back

                                                                                    So u cant swim in drinking reservoar but u cant drive freaking titanic over there..... Khm 😑

                                                                                    • Charlize Berkheimer
                                                                                      Charlize Berkheimer  6 days back

                                                                                      When he jumped in i was like "Ouch"

                                                                                      • Reaching 10000 subs without videos before 2020

                                                                                        After done swimming in shade balls

                                                                                        Verisatium: *So what now?*

                                                                                        • Vahag Yengibaryan
                                                                                          Vahag Yengibaryan  6 days back

                                                                                          Me after No Nut November 2:14

                                                                                          • Candy Monay
                                                                                            Candy Monay  1 weeks back

                                                                                            I want to know how long it takes to get them out of the pool...

                                                                                            • Craig Sekowski
                                                                                              Craig Sekowski  1 weeks back

                                                                                              Begs the question, is this really an affective solution

                                                                                              • Tristan Salyer
                                                                                                Tristan Salyer  1 weeks back

                                                                                                You could say he’s balls deep

                                                                                                • The owner Of gaming
                                                                                                  The owner Of gaming  1 weeks back

                                                                                                  Pours a bunch of balls
                                                                                                  Filter:am I a joke to you?