Can You Swim in Shade Balls?

  • Published: 13 June 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:

    Receiving a shade ball:
    1. Support Veritasium on any Patreon tier and enter your address
    2. In about a month I will send out signed shade balls
    3. I will cover all shipping costs but if things get really crazy I will prioritize existing Patreon supporters and higher tiers

    My 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)"

Comments • 21 871

  • Ahman Millener
    Ahman Millener  13 hours back

    Wow what a good swimming regimen for training focus and endurance.

      MAVERICK BRAGG  15 hours back

      3:43 bruh dis is a bruh moment

      • Benjamin Cantrell
        Benjamin Cantrell  17 hours back

        getting a lot of balls in my face lmfao

        • BonnetFs dakota
          BonnetFs dakota  1 days back

          3:44 thats what she said

          • Bulba kraK
            Bulba kraK  1 days back

            I GET MY BLACK BALL NUMBER 4498!!!!! OMG

            • Jesalyn Guingguing
              Jesalyn Guingguing  1 days back

              I have 1 request can you dive in 10 minutes in shade balls using diving gears

              • A Pacheco
                A Pacheco  1 days back

                1:11 and that's when he knew, he fucked up

                • Brooklyn Everitt
                  Brooklyn Everitt  1 days back

                  Does anybody else think that's giant caviar

                  • ManPower Gaming
                    ManPower Gaming  1 days back

                    God... I just noticed you market your channel much like how tesla markets new vehicles

                    • George Elliott
                      George Elliott  2 days back

                      Click bait you did not ever fill ur thing u can’t float in the

                      • Tea time
                        Tea time  2 days back

                        What are shade balls tho?

                        • Eirikr Sanford
                          Eirikr Sanford  2 days back

                          Isn't Sam Lufti Britney Spears' handler???? One of the Patreon donators

                          • MassDynamic
                            MassDynamic  2 days back

                            you thought it was hard getting the balls into the pool....wait till you have to get them out of the pool..

                            • Denim Perkins
                              Denim Perkins  2 days back

                              it looked like that cursed mine craft texture pack

                              • Griffin Doolittle
                                Griffin Doolittle  2 days back

                                can you swim in shade balls?

                                • Angela Washington
                                  Angela Washington  2 days back

                                  You should of wait on it

                                  • Eleni Freeman
                                    Eleni Freeman  3 days back


                                    • Caiden Scheckel
                                      Caiden Scheckel  3 days back

                                      What are shade balls

                                      • Arla Newman
                                        Arla Newman  3 days back

                                        It must be fun putting them, in but must NOT be fun getting them out!

                                        • Ayden Harmon
                                          Ayden Harmon  3 days back

                                          Him: it’s time to release the balls

                                          Me: I do that to when I come home from a hot day wearing jeans

                                          • Classic Lean
                                            Classic Lean  3 days back

                                            It turned from kinda fun to dangerous real quick

                                            • roger simmion
                                              roger simmion  3 days back

                                              How rich do you have to be to cover your own backyard swimming pool with those balls and get a drone to film you running into it? That's ridiculous lol

                                              • Benjamin Morris
                                                Benjamin Morris  3 days back

                                                take them ballz

                                                • Safak Guney
                                                  Safak Guney  4 days back

                                                  8:00 that is the most pathetic and funny thing I have ever seen :D

                                                  • Niroshka Acev
                                                    Niroshka Acev  4 days back


                                                    • Protocorner
                                                      Protocorner  4 days back

                                                      Thanks for the Shadeball Derek!

                                                      • Asus Commenous
                                                        Asus Commenous  4 days back

                                                        Thank you ! We received the ball through your Patreon page!!

                                                        • Vladimir Putin
                                                          Vladimir Putin  4 days back

                                                          I wanna see the part where they remove these from the pool.

                                                          • Kimberly Thomason
                                                            Kimberly Thomason  4 days back

                                                            Timothy Kelley, I believe it's a learned response. I think.

                                                            • Kimberly Thomason
                                                              Kimberly Thomason  4 days back

                                                              Loved this. I would've tried running across too. Too funny. Then I would've tried laying on top as well. Love science! I want a signed ball but can't become a patreon as I'm low income unfortunately. If settle for an autographed photo though. Love your channel. Thanks dude. You rock!

                                                              • TRAVEL TUBE
                                                                TRAVEL TUBE  4 days back

                                                                can you make a video? how Shade Balls are made?

                                                                • Danny Tidwell
                                                                  Danny Tidwell  5 days back

                                                                  HAHA "a lot of balls in my face" lol priceless

                                                                  • DroneINsweden
                                                                    DroneINsweden  5 days back

                                                                    awesome content :)

                                                                    • Kaine Joyes
                                                                      Kaine Joyes  6 days back

                                                                      "Balls in my face"

                                                                      • Jase Curtis
                                                                        Jase Curtis  7 days back


                                                                        • Lowie Vangaal
                                                                          Lowie Vangaal  1 weeks back

                                                                          Also nice example of the Apple Watch being waterproof :-)

                                                                          • mehmet cihan cakir
                                                                            mehmet cihan cakir  1 weeks back

                                                                            Anyone recognised the crystallographic grain like formation of floating balls?

                                                                          • El Catrin C
                                                                            El Catrin C  1 weeks back

                                                                            good thing only a few people could afford buying this

                                                                            • Shannon Lee
                                                                              Shannon Lee  1 weeks back

                                                                              I want a signed shade ball

                                                                              • Piper Guenther
                                                                                Piper Guenther  1 weeks back

                                                                                i would like a shade ball

                                                                                • Alisia Lopez
                                                                                  Alisia Lopez  1 weeks back

                                                                                  How much did they cost

                                                                                  • TheCoBBus
                                                                                    TheCoBBus  1 weeks back

                                                                                    Just got mine! number 462!!

                                                                                    • R2 Man
                                                                                      R2 Man  1 weeks back

                                                                                      6:46 that's a cool wallpaper

                                                                                      • Crazy Funny Cats
                                                                                        Crazy Funny Cats  1 weeks back

                                                                                        Used balls as 🎁

                                                                                        • Soljer Blue
                                                                                          Soljer Blue  1 weeks back

                                                                                          In case you're wondering, there are 10,006 balls in that pool.😁

                                                                                          • Soljer Blue
                                                                                            Soljer Blue  1 weeks back

                                                                                            "lights coming through the cracks and reflected off the balls..."​ LOL

                                                                                            • Dan in a Can
                                                                                              Dan in a Can  1 weeks back

                                                                                              I dont want your balls.. !

                                                                                              • devina waluja
                                                                                                devina waluja  1 weeks back

                                                                                                is that..... boba ?!