Vsauce (//) is a YouTube brand created by celebrity educator Michael Stevens. The channels feature videos on scientific, psychological, mathematical, and philosophical topics, as well as gaming, technology, popular culture, and other general interest subjects.
|Channels||Vsauce, Vsauce2, Vsauce3, WeSauce, D!NG|
|Created by||Michael Stevens|
|Genre||Education, information, science, gaming, technology|
Updated: February 13, 2022
On April 16, 2010, Michael Stevens launched the main Vsauce channel. Initially, the channel's programming focused on video games and featured a number of hosts. However, certain segments such as IMG! slowly took over, and Stevens became the sole host. The channel then became a mix of information and online activities, and solely educational segments popped up. The educational segments became more popular, and since September 9, 2012, only the educational segment (known as DOT.) has been presented. According to episode #18 of LÜT on the original Vsauce channel, the name "Vsauce" was generated using the fake website generator portion of a site called Fake Name Generator. After Stevens generated the fake website Vsauce.com, he registered it and began uploading videos.
Vsauce was one of the fastest growing channels during September 2012. During that month, the main Vsauce channel reached 1 million subscribers. In the same month, Bill Nye appeared in one of the main channel's videos, which focused on the joke, "Why did the chicken cross the road?"
Stevens, in the video "A Defense of Comic Sans", notes that the text font Alsina was used by the Vsauce channels because of its close resemblance to the handwriting of Nik Guinta, the creator of the original Vsauce logo. A new branding scheme designed by Natasha Jen was adopted in December 2014 to bring a "grown-up" feel to the channels. It utilizes the DIN Next Rounded font and fluid designs to convey the idea of sauce that the name "Vsauce" implies.
The Vsauce channel, also known as Vsauce1 to distinguish it from the brand as a whole and the other channels, is presented by the founder, Michael Stevens, and features videos about science, mathematics, anthropology, and philosophy. The primary series, DOT., features Stevens discussing a topic or question in a tangential manner, including various interpretations of the question and related facts and observations. Stevens has stated that he researches on Wikipedia and academic papers to find information for his videos.
Three seasons of Mind Field have been released on Vsauce, each one with eight episodes. The first season ran in early 2017, the second season from late 2017 to early 2018, and the third from late 2018 to early 2019. On October 1, 2019, all episodes became viewable, with ads, for free for those without YouTube Premium. On October 24, 2019, a special episode entitled What Is The Scariest Thing? was released.
Vsauce2, hosted by Kevin Lieber, has covered topics concerning unusual knowledge, gadgets, and people. Since 2019, Vsauce2 has largely produced videos regarding probability, paradoxes, and dilemmas, most of which are mathematical or economic in nature and visualized through real-world situations.
Before 2019, videos were released under recurring segments. MindBlow is a segment where Lieber showcases current inventions that are useful, are of significant value to society or are simply humorous. FAK (Facts And Knowledge) is a segment about trivia with one main topic. BiDiPi (Build it, Draw it, Play it) is a segment on things that were built and drawn by people from around the world, including ones that Vsauce fans have submitted—the best ones are showcased on the show. 54321 is a segment where Kevin covers four topics, each having one, two, three, or four things related to each other according to the order shown. He gives a short summary of each and ends with five-word problems or riddles. WAC (Weird Awesome Crazy) is a segment that focuses on people from around the world who participate in unusual activities. BOAT stands for Best of All Time, a segment in which Kevin presents lists of, as the segment name implies, the best word plays, best flash mobs, best pranks, etc. Weirdos of the Month displays people with habits Kevin finds weird, using the tagline "Everyone has a little weird in them."
Thought Glass is another recurring segment where several topics within a theme, such as school facts or ancient medical practices, are posted to a glass pane and discussed. In earlier episodes, assorted topics were posted to the pane and a final subject was revealed through a rebus. GRUB is a segment detailing strange and unusual foods.
Vsauce2 has created three April Fools joke segments. PAB (People Are Boring) was released in 2013. For these segments, Kevin treated normal everyday events like they were unusual. Noggin' Blow was uploaded in 2014, parodying the Mind Blow segment by showcasing items popularized in the 1940s and 1950s. In a parody of BiDiPi titled BiDiPiGiFiTiWiPiBiCiMiFiDiFiTi and released in 2015, Kevin shared a mixture of parodic nonsense and actual scientific studies and phenomena.
In November 2018, Lieber and channel producer Matt Tabor launched The Create Unknown podcast, which interviews digital creators. The podcast has featured interviews with Casey Neistat, Derek Muller from Veritasium, Destin Sandlin from Smarter Every Day, Dolan Dark, iDubbbz, and Grandayy. On April 2, 2019, The Create Unknown announced that it would be coming back for a second season that would include live video of the podcast posted to its YouTube channel. YouTuber Quackity was the first guest of season 2, appearing on a large wall of televisions behind Lieber and Tabor.
HeadShot discusses video games, how they are connected to real life, and the games' science. Game LÜT displays game merchandise. App All Knight talks about new apps that can be bought on the iOS App Store or Google Play. App All Knight was moved to the D!NG channel in January 2017. 9bit details facts about video games. Fact Surgery disassembles a video game system as trivia about the system is shown.
Vsauce3 has collaborated with well-known YouTubers, including Joe Hanson from It's Okay to be Smart and Vanessa Hill from BrainCraft. He has also presented videos with celebrity guest appearances from Bill Nye, Jack Black, The Muppets, Paul Rudd, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
On November 25, 2015, Jake revealed that he has sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. On December 19, Jake announced that he had begun treatment and a tumor on his lower leg had been successfully removed by surgery.
Vsauce3 began releasing Could You Survive The Movies, a YouTube Premium original series, on October 10, 2018. The series explores scientific topics by questioning the survivability of scenes in popular movies. Episodes parody the movies plot and include popular Youtubers in the character roles.
WeSauce was a channel that compiled works from fans of the Vsauce channels. The channel featured segments Your BiDiPi, JAM, Music LeanBack!, Riddle Challenge, This World of Ours, and ITVS. WeSauce has remained inactive since October 15, 2015.
D!NG, formerly DONG (Do Online Now, Guys), is a spin-off channel by Vsauce that features unusual pages, apps, and games from around the Internet. DONG was formerly a segment featured on the main Vsauce channel and then on the Vsauce3 channel before its own channel was launched in 2015, with the first video uploaded on October 29, 2015. DONG also features LÜT, a segment formerly featured on the Vsauce2 channel about various products that can be purchased online; Game LÜT, which was also featured previously on Vsauce2; and App All Knight, which came from Vsauce3. The channel also houses educational content via a segment known as Michael's Toys. In these videos, Stevens investigates tools and toys that are useful for explaining scientific or mathematical phenomena. The channel was renamed to D!NG on May 12, 2019, seemingly due to the channel being demonetized for having a name that was not considered advertiser-friendly.
Except for BiDiPi and some older videos, much of the music used in Vsauce content was created by Jake Chudnow. Since mid-2014, Vsauce also uses music from the public domain music site audionetwork.com. Since early 2015, Vsauce2 also uses music by Aiur, notably the song "FoxTrot".
Jake Chudnow and Stevens have known each other from their jobs at BarelyPolitical. Jake created much of the music in the earlier "The Key of Awesome" music videos. Because of this, Chudnow gives Vsauce exclusive rights to his music, and all Vsauce channels use the music in their videos. One of the most recognizable pieces of his music is the instrumental to "Moon Men", which is used in the original Vsauce channel and is often played whenever Stevens poses a mysterious question or makes a thought provoking statement. Other pieces of music used by the channels include "145-(Poodles)", "Sunday", "It's Good to be D", "Hydrogen", "Darwin", "Carlin Dream", "Lions Tigers and Apes Part II", "Hanami", "Pressed Pennies", "Keith" and "Shona". They are often played when the audience is encouraged to think. "Turquoise" is often used, usually when unsettling, astonishing, or otherwise significant facts or ideas are mentioned. "Flan" is often used for sorrowful or abstract facts. "Rainstorms and Rainbows (I Am the Hero)", "Going Down", and "Flan" are played at the end of the videos. "192-1", "White", "For You", "Meet Men and Party (All Night)", "Banana", "Ducking", "Buildings and Bikes", "Shallow Anne", "Button", "Olive", and "Muff Mittens" are also often used in Vsauce2 and Vsauce3.
In the video "The Moon Terminator Illusion", Chudnow's vinyl album Shona EP was the object of focus against the wall when showing the visual effects of zooming and moving on nearby objects (a Vsauce-branded mug) and distant ones (the EP).
Vsauce has collaborated with Henry Reich of MinutePhysics on two videos: "Guns in Space" and "What if the Earth were Hollow?". Vsauce has also collaborated with Periodic Videos and "Sixty Symbols", a chemistry- and physics-based website and videos created by the video journalist Brady Haran. Vanessa Hill of BrainCraft has appeared on the video, "Math Magic". Bill Nye appeared on a Vsauce3 video in September 2012. On February 28, 2013, Stevens appeared on James May's HeadSqueeze YouTube channel (now BBC Earth Lab). Stevens spoke about the main Vsauce channel during a TEDTalk at TEDActive 2013. Vsauce has also collaborated with Derek Muller of Veritasium.
Stevens has appeared on the YouTube channel Good Mythical Morning on their segments The Mythical Show and Ear Biscuits where he was asked random questions by Rhett & Link. He has appeared in Barely Political videos and is recognised as the Bearded Nun. Stevens made an appearance in Travel Channel's America Declassified for "The Quiet Zone" episode and on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Stevens also made an appearance on Filthy Frank's channel for the third and final video in his cake series. In the video, Michael is found homeless lying next to a dumpster, and Maxmoefoe pays him to spit in a cup.
In 2014, Jake of Vsauce3 had narrated two episodes of the series Did You Know Gaming? covering the Game Boy. Vsauce3 has collaborated with AsapScience on the video "Can You Genetically Enhance Yourself?" and with BrainCraft on "Is Mario Really Evil?" and with Matthew Santoro on "What if Quicksilver Ran Past You?" and has featured celebrities such as Paul Rudd, Jack Black, and the Muppets. He also collaborated with Mark Rober on "Could You Survive Home Alone?" Jake appeared on AsapSCIENCE in the video "Can We Genetically Improve Intelligence?"
Stevens took part in a collaboration with Chris Pratt and Jack Horner on June 17, 2015, and also talked with David Attenborough in 2016. In August 2016, Stevens served as a guest host on the show BattleBots.
Stevens released a YouTube Premium exclusive show called Mind Field on his main Vsauce channel on 18 Jan 2017.
Stevens collaborated with the famed educator and television personality Adam Savage in 2017 for a show titled Brain Candy Live. They visited 40 cities in March 2017. Episodes of the show are scheduled until December 6, 2018.
On March 24, 2018, Stevens was largely involved with a collaboration featured on HowToBasic's YouTube channel with YouTuber MaxMoeFoe, his friend Warrun, and several clips of different YouTubers screaming the phrase "I'm HowToBasic". The video was titled Face Reveal for his 10 Million Subscriber Special, which was a video that led subscribers to believe that HowToBasic would reveal his identity in the video. Stevens was used as the first person to reveal himself as the person behind HowToBasic's channel, but it was later revealed to be a prank as many other famous YouTubers made cameos claiming to be HowToBasic, including Kevin Lieber and Jake Roper.
In 2014, Vsauce won a Webby for People's Voice award for best news and information.
Vsauce itself explains scientific and psychological phenomena, Vsauce2 creates mind-blowing videos about new technology, Vsauce3 analyzes the junction between science and pop culture and D.O.N.G. introduces viewers to all the weirdest internet sites and merchandise.