Do you believe in aliens and UFOs? How about Bigfoot? If you are like most, you’ll probably answer “no,” but if the question was whether you would watch a video of a UFO or Bigfoot on YouTube, your answer may be different. UFO and Bigfoot—two of the world’s most mysterious phenomena—are laughed at by most, yet are among the most viral topics on YouTube. Upload a video of alien craft or Sasquatch and you are almost guaranteed your fifteen minutes of YouTube fame.
A quick YouTube search for UFO turns up over 175 UFO-tagged videos with over 1 million views each, and most have way more than 1 million views. Nearly 40 videos tagged with Bigfoot have passed the million-view mark.
Let’s take a look at a recent Bigfoot video as an example. This video allegedly features footage of Bigfoot crossing the road in Shelby, North Carolina. The video’s uploader, Thomas Byers, writes in the description, “On the evening of Tuesday, March 22, 2011 while driving down Golden Valley Church Road I and a friend Carolyn Wright observed the Big-Foot Knobby or one similar to it cross the road in front of the truck we were in and run into the woods.”
Would you believe that that video has been viewed over 2.2 million times and was featured on sites like AOL News and Fox? I think that a comment featured in AOL’s coverage of the video sums it up best: “What a load of s***…some guy running across the road in a gorilla suit…that would be why it is blurry…why are all the videos and photos of Bigfoot blurry? Oh, let me have a stab at it: CAUSE THEY ARE ALL FAKE!! I don’t believe that we as humans have seen all there is to see in this world, but when you show me a video that is in focus and does not appear to be some gorilla-suited weirdo, then I will believe someone captured Bigfoot on film.”
Let’s try another one. Here’s a video that hit YouTube in April of a “Dead alien found in UFO hotspot, Russia.” A lot of people, including popular YouTuber Ray William Johnson, are pointing out that this alien has been confirmed as a fake. This alien is made out of chicken and pastries…yum. But despite being revealed as a hoax, the video still has over 10 million views.
So why do people keep watching these videos? My guess is that, though we may not believe in ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and other unexplained phenomena, we all secretly want to see proof that these things are real. However, as soon as a new UFO, Bigfoot, ghost or other unexplained video hits YouTube people automatically start calling it fake, so even if real UFO footage hit YouTube, nobody would believe it was real. It’s somewhat of a Catch-22 in this way, but it’s definitely not stopping millions of people from watching these videos.
What do you think about the viral phenomenon of UFO, Bigfoot and other mysterious YouTube videos? Let us know in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.