With hundreds of hours of videos uploaded every minute and billions of hours of video watched daily, YouTube is the de facto home of internet video (for better or worse). But in the beginning, there were just a few of these videos, and someone at some time had to have been the first person to ever post a YouTube video, right? If you’re curious what some of the oldest YouTube uploads were, you’re in luck, because many of those videos are still there for you to watch.
So let’s take a trip back to the mid-2000s and see what was happening on YouTube in the olden days.
After you’re done seeing some of the first videos on YouTube, check out some of the oldest websites on the Internet that you can still visit.
Are the Oldest YouTube Videos Still on YouTube?
Most of the videos on this list are the original uploads. A few channels were deleted over the years. After all, YouTube launched in 2005, so quite a few people who started on the site have moved on. Luckily, some users preserved YouTube history be re-uploading some of the very first videos on YouTube so we can all enjoy them.
Me at the Zoo
Welcome to the very first video uploaded to YouTube. Me at the Zoo was uploaded by none other than Jawed Karim, one of YouTube’s co-founders. The 18-second clip was shot at the San Diego Zoo at the elephant exhibit. While there’s nothing that really stands out, it was the first YouTube video, which definitely makes it special.
Since being uploaded on April 23, 2005, the video has been viewed over 225 million times and has over 11 million comments. Karim really set the standard for what YouTube has become – sharing moments and connecting with others all over the world.
He’s also been using the video description to share his objections to controversial YouTube policies, most recently the decision to remove publicly visible ‘Dislikes’ from videos. So it’s also something of a political platform for him!
My Snowboarding Skillz
Just a few hours after a visit with elephants, YouTube was treated to its first sport blooper in My Snowboarding Skillz. Since April 23, 2005, user mw has gained over 11,000 subscribers, even though he has no other videos. Still, the funny video showing a snowboarder falling at the end of a trick has gained nearly two million views.
It may not be nearly as popular as Me at the Zoo, but it still goes down in history as being one of the original and oldest YouTube videos. It also showed YouTube is the perfect place to share your embarrassing moments.
Who knew snowboarding was so popular in the early days of YouTube? This video was originally uploaded on April 24, 2005, though it was re-uploaded to a new channel in 2015. However, nothing changed about Badass Snowboarding. Not only does it have a great song behind it – Godsmack’s I Stand Alone – but it features three nice tricks along with some good slow-motion video editing.
It can be a little dizzying at first, but these were different times for home videos.
Premature Baldness is one of the oldest YouTube videos and one of the first to feature different scenes edited together with transitional effects. It’s also a great example of people doing strange things out of simple curiosity. In this case, the user paul wanted to know what he’d look like by age 50 with a bald spot.
While today you might use AI to age a picture, he took a different approach. He decided to get a haircut, aka bald spot, in public at Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach. This video has two firsts – being the first with major editing and the longest YT video at the time at a whopping two minutes! It was uploaded during YouTube’s first week on April 28, 2005.
Fan making their own music videos is nothing new, but Vernal Lullaby was YouTube’s first music video made by a fan. The video was for This Lullaby by Queens of the Stone Age. It’s surprisingly well done, at least for the time, and fits the song well.
The video’s not quite a minute and a half, but is user Adam Quirk’s most popular upload with over 280,000 views. He was still active as of two years ago with random music and daily life videos. This upload started his channel on May 2, 2005.
Pajamas and Nick Drake
YouTube without cats would just be boring, and we probably owe a bit to user steve for uploading the first ever cat video to YouTube. Pajamas and Nick Drake shows the user’s cat Pajamas playing with a string, supposedly dancing to a song by singer-songwriter Nick Drake.
This video was historical just for featuring an adorable cat and has over 238,000 views. It was uploaded during YouTube’s first month on May 22, 2005. Sadly, viewers didn’t get treated to any more of Pajamas’ antics, though I’m sure everyone would have loved to see more of the cat playing and dancing.
Tribute stands alone on gp’s YouTube channel, but that hasn’t stopped the channel from getting over 3,000 subscribers. The video itself, uploaded on April 24, 2005, has over a million views. As DaFuq!?Boom! comments, “why isn’t this a meme?” When you watch it, it really does seem perfect for one.
The five-second video shows a man balancing between two walls and yelling. Legend has it that the videographer and man saying “very nice” is actually Me at the Zoo’s Jawed Karim, but that hasn’t been confirmed. It’s a funny and very random video, which fits YouTube perfectly.
Flambe Disaster was originally uploaded by user tunafat, but the user made their account private, so channelarchive re-uploaded it to preserve one of the oldest YouTube videos. The original was uploaded on April 24, 2005 and is the oldest cooking disaster video on YouTube.
As the name explains, trying to flambe became a disaster when the flame didn’t die down like it should. The video cuts off as the person grabs the pan off the stove with friends laughing in a corner. After all, when something’s going terribly wrong for your friend, what else are you supposed to do but laugh?
First Back Flip on YouTube! (House Dismount)
You might immediately think this is going to be some crazy person failing miserably at jumping off their house thanks to a dare or alcohol. Surprisingly, First Back Flip on YouTube! (House Dismount) treats us to a successful backflip off a house roof. It was uploaded on May 24, 2005 and is the first backflip on YouTube.
The user was the 42nd person to join YouTube and his channel COBALTGRUV is still active today. While most of the users behind the oldest YouTube videos are no longer active, at least under their original username or channel, it’s impressive that he still is, and as recently as January 2022 has still been backflipping at the age of 45!
Stadion Bayen München
Today, it’s nothing unusual to see a YouTube video of someone visiting a sports stadium. But, Stadion Bayen München was the first, being posted on June 13, 2005, around six weeks after the launch of YouTube. As the name implies, it’s a simple 40-second clip showing the inside of Olympiastadion, which was built specifically for the 1972 Olympics hosted in Munich, Germany.
Not only is this the first stadium video, but it’s most likely the first German video as well. And, while no one is playing at the time, many consider this to be YouTube’s first football video too. Now, you can’t go a single day without seeing a new football clip on the site. The user, Dominoes, only posted this single video and hasn’t been active in around 15 years.
Carrie Rides a Truck
Have you ever watched a YouTube video without sound? Well, Carrie Rides a Truck actually doesn’t have sound. Sure, being one of the oldest YouTube videos is an impressive feat all on its own, but this one gets two firsts – first girl (in a featured role) and first silent video.
It’s an incredibly happy video though. Carrie, whoever she might be, is laughing and having a great time riding in a tiny truck. Why is she doing it? Where is she at? Who knows. But, it’s hard not to smile and think of simpler times when you watch it. It was uploaded on April 30, 2005 and Jones4Carrie, the user who posted it, was fairly active up until around 2013.
If you loved Carrie’s truck antics, check out Carrie Chokes The Chicken, which was posted on the same day. It too is without sound and fun to watch.
YouTube has some seriously weird videos and Cybergoon Squad might be the first of the bunch. This animated video was first published on May 1, 2005. The top comment calls it “First WTF did I just watch video on YouTube.”
After watching this, you’ll likely feel the same. Sure, the animation is terrible by today’s standards, but it’s got a late 90’s vibe to it. What is it about? It’s anyone’s guess really, but the description says it’s “pissed off babe and her escorts strolling.’
It’s likely one of the earliest, if not the first, animated videos on YouTube. It probably also opened the door for a lot of WTF videos later on. So, if you love the odder side of YouTube, give this one a look.
Bootie Christ Dance
Yes, Cybergoon Squad was definitely an odd one, but Bootie Christ Dance perfectly represents how completely random YouTube can be at times. It’s just a guy dancing in his room. And yes, it’s the first YouTube video with dancing. It was originally uploaded on April 24th, 2005, but the channel was eventually deleted.
Luckily, ripBootieChrist reuploaded the clip for the world to enjoy. The video quality is terrible, but if you want to see clumsy, drunken-style dancing in leopard print shorts, you’ve got to watch this one.
While the above oldest YouTube videos were all firsts for various reasons, the site’s grown to have nearly any topic you could possible imagine, including people brushing their hair in ASMR videos, ways to feel better on a bad day, and even guides to learn how to DJ.