Can You Swim in Shade Balls?

  • Published on:  6/13/2019
  • 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: a shade ball:1. Support Veritasium on any Patreon tier and enter your address In about a month I will send out signed shade balls3. I will cover all shipping costs but if things get really crazy I will prioritize existing Patreon supporters and higher tiersMy 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)"


  • Maxo Beats 1 months ago

    Tell me why I thought these were the traps from the Incredibles

  • jaytofly 18 hours ago

    Lol same

  • wynja77 21 days ago

    "It's for drinking water obviously you can't swim in there" ... takes an effing nasty motor boat... Mmm... that sweet, sweet taste of diesel.

  • wynja77 or petrol

  • Violet Wiseley 3 days ago


  • _Miss_Megs_ 24 days ago

    I’m not sure why but watching this gave me so much anxiety and made me feel claustrophobic and like I would drown.

  • Weird Kidd 12 days ago

    _Miss_Megs_ S A M E

  • God Lecks 17 days ago

    Did anyone got a mini heart attack when he almost drowned on his intro

  • Saigonas 17 hours ago

    @Jaskittle savage

  • Jaskittle 4 days ago

    Not rlly

  • Kawaquacky Green 20 days ago

    This video just made me feel incredibly short of breath

  • Gaming Master 19 days ago

    Ik same

  • Amine Benaissa 1 months ago

    I am pretty sure Youtube's gonna recommend me this 5 years later

  • Channel an hour ago

    ikr, same

  • dnnxinsta 12 days ago

    I wanna see my comment in 5 years

  • "I am getting a lot of balls in my face" - Veritasium 2019

  • Leaf The Koala 4 days ago

    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  • Iwant Anaivanovic 6 days ago

    Are you single, Andrea?

  • Emily Padilla 20 days ago

    "It's kind of like quicksand""OH NO!!!""It's exactly like quick sand"

  • Chris Tex 19 days ago

    His bad swimming technique is what’s giving me the most anxiety.

  • Extra Terrestrial 15 days ago

    ikr I’m on a swim team and it causes me so much pain to watch him and correcting his every movement

  • Brøken Røses 19 days ago

    "What did you do this summer?"" *I watched a dude swim in balls.* "

  • EnOyunTV 13 days ago

    If summer was 10 minutes your comment would make sense

  • Kady Thomas 15 days ago

    Big black ones