Youtube is Wild #1: Marble Runs

Youtube has grown immensely in the last fourteen years. I remember when it used to be impressive that a video would get 1,000,000 views, now videos can easily get up into the billions.

There is over 400 hours of content uploaded to youtube every minute. That means in about 22 minutes users upload a year’s worth of content. This means a couple of things.

1. There’s a lot of youtube videos out there.

2. There’s a lot of weird youtube videos out there.

“Youtube is Wild” is my attempt to wrangle some of the craziness that is youtube.


The olympics. It’s the competition that pits countries against one another. There are summer and winter olympics staggered every two years. People jump, run, shoot, swim, ski, luge, curl, and all sorts of other things.

Why would you watch humans push themselves to the absolute limits of their abilities when you could watch marbles?

Yeah, the little glass things.

A user named “Jelle's Marble Runs” uploads videos of, you guessed it, marble runs.

“What is a marble run?” you might ask. Great question. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Marbles are let loose on a track and they “run” to the end. Sometimes they’re racing from point to point, sometimes the marbles are in a repeating Rube Goldberg machine. The marbles start at the top, travel down through several funnels, tubes, and slides via gravity until they reach the bottom and are then hoisted back to the top, most often by electronic pulley systems with buckets.

Since joining youtube in late November 2018, Jelle has garnered over 370,000 subscribers and over 17 million views. Jelle’s Marble Runs is voiced by a friend of Jelle.

I believe Jelle had a channel before this, but information was limited when searching for it.

Jelle himself has mild autism, which led to his infatuation with marbles at an early age, and has loved creating marble machines ever since. The videos have developed the channel into a youtube celebrity with a following that look forward to every video. With commentary by Jelle’s friend, Greg Woods, each video is well produced and feels like actual sporting events. The tracks and event surfaces that are used make for very exciting competition.

I highly recommend getting some friends together for a fun drinking game for the marblympics.

Most of the events feature groups of 4-8 marbles competing against each other. Claim a few as your own, and the losers take a drink.

Alternatively, just watch some of the videos by yourself. Especially the videos that explore the marble machines. It’s a very relaxing way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Aside from Jelle, there are a few other marble channels that do well in their own right. I highly encourage you to go down the marble rabbit hole and enjoy what you find!

Here are some of my favorite marble youtube videos.