It’s a great time to be alive if you’d like to be smart. In the olden days, you’d need to be rich to get an education, but now all you need is an internet connection to learn about the world around you. Use this list as a tasting menu for all the educational (and entertaining) goodness that YouTube has to offer.
Start with their inspirational “You Can Learn Anything” video, and then make your way through the vast archives of Khan Academy. With thousands of videos across a number of disciplines, you can learn anything you want right at home — for free!
SciShow is bite-size science videos from Hank Green and Michael Aranda. Together, they answer difficult questions like, What Are Eye Boogers? and Why Do We Have Butt Hair?. This is more candy than vegetable, you can still learn a lot from their videos.
This channel was created by Derek Muller, a physics PhD haver. His videos will show you experiments you won’t understand and explanations for the experiments that you’ll have to watch twice to comprehend, but once you do, you’ll instantly feel smarter.
Unlike the other entries in this list, CGP Grey is a one-man operation. This nerd will teach you about geography, The Lord of The Rings mythology, the process of voting, and lots more. One of his most popular videos is Humans Need Not Apply, which is about the coming automation of the workforce.
In a Nutshell
In a nutshell — formerly known as Kurzgesagt — are fantastic at breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand videos, like their video on the Fermi Paradox and the refugee crisis in Europe.
Crash Course was started by Hank and John Green — also known as the Vlogbrothers. They are joined by a cast of other educators, and bring you videos on literature, history, ecology, among others. It’s a mark of a great educator when they’re able to make Sylvia Plath sound interesting.
AsapScience’s videos are as fun as they are educational. Get the scientific answer to all those questions you never knew you needed the answer to.
Numberphile is what it says on the tin: videos about numbers. Brady Haran makes videos about all sorts of mathematical curiosities, and you don’t need more than a rudimentary understanding of math to enjoy them.