Michael Stevens

April 21, 2014

I am Michael Stevens of Vsauce on YouTube, AMA!

Hello redditors! My name is Michael Stevens and I am behind the YouTube channel Vsauce. I love science and art and history and language and math and philosophy and making video and things. Ask me anything!

EDIT: PROOF: https://twitter.com/tweetsauce/status/458302210989101056

EDIT: Thank you all so much for taking the time to ask me questions! You guys are why I do this. Stay curious, know that you can always ask me anything on twitter, and as always, thanks for watching.

EDIT / UPDATE: I've released a video in which I cover my favorite questions from this AMA (and some other stuff, too) on the reddit YouTube channel. WATCH IT HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hClQ-OER3Y

What was your favourite video to make?

It's a tie between linking two great trips for If and getting to work with a brilliant artist to visualize something crazy for What if the Moon was a Disco Ball?

What's your favorite video game?

After all this time, it's still Homeworld

Where did the name Vsauce come from?

I wanted a name with a .com domain I could buy that also meant NOTHING so it would always fit whatever kind of videos I wanted to make. I refreshed FakeNameGenerator until I saw Vsauce.com listed under "website" and I knew it was true love <3

Which Nintendo game did you use to make the VSauce title card at the end of your videos?


Hey Michael, TheDuskDragon here.

In your videos, you tend to pop up into frame from the bottom of the screen for transitional purposes. How much stronger are your legs as a result of you having to squat out of frame beforehand? Also, what are other notable things that you have to do in preparation for your videos that we should know?

If I have to do lots of pop up intros in a video I wind up being sore the next day (I mean, just a little sore, I'm not like, THAT out of shape).

That said, if I have to re-do a pop up intro a bunch of times in a row ... I sometimes have to stop and catch my breath >.<

Also, I had to switch to energy drinks right before shooting (if necessary) instead of coffee because coffee made my tongue brown and it looked gross in the videos.

A Vsauce video won a Best of Reddit 2013 award in /r/WoahDude for "Bad Vibes" (trippy posts that are disturbing, creepy, or scary, and may give some people a bad trip)

Just thought that'd be interesting to know!

As far as a question goes: What are your favorite subreddit(s)?

I was really excited when I saw that -- such an honor!

Some of my favorite subreddits (right now) are:










EDIT: formatting

How often to you get recognized by people on the street? Any funny stories?

It's amazing whenever someone recognizes me. It's a chance to see Vsauce viewers IN THE FLESH.

I always take a photo or chat with them for as long as I can.

The funniest stories involve people not approaching me at the time, but tweeting about it later. About an hour after I left a restaurant a few weeks ago a guy I hadn't talked to tweeted at me and asked how I liked what I'd ordered...

It wasn't creepy, though. It was awesome.

EDIT: a misplaced word

Hey michael, how did you meet jake and kevin and why did you choose them to host vsauce 2 and 3?

I met Kevin because I loved his personal channel. I asked him if he wanted to help make episodes for Vsauce and he immediately got what made a video 'Vsaucey.' He's incredibly innovative and creative -- I wish I could pump out awesome new show ideas at the rate he does.

I met Jake in NYC. He was brilliant with a camera and with editing effects. His videos are informative and about a googol times more beautiful than mine. At first, he helped me edit episodes of DONG but it became clear right away that he could take on a Vsauce all to himself. Thanks to his knowledge, Vsauce now has Vsauce3 where we can approach 'fictional' topics in a 'Vsaucey' way.

Hey Michael! Which books have you been reading lately? Any recommendations?

I'm reading this right now. It's amazing.

Is CGPGrey as handsome as he is in my dreams?

I have seen your dreams and no, he is much more handsome than that.

Well, to answer that, we'll need to look at where HANDSOME... COMES from. In old English it's root was handa, but was later changed to handen, and eventually it became... eyebrow raises hands. When handsome originally appeared sometime around 1350-1400, the original idea was a handsome person was easy to handle, ready at hand... easy to hold. It wasn't until the end of the 16th century that handsome grew into it's modern definition of "Having a fine form or... good-looking. Handsome, meaning "generous" (a handsome reward) wasn't commonly used for another century.

Video cuts to a shot of Mars

We often look at our universe as so far away. And maybe it'll stay that way if we don't work hard to explore, to find meaning... to understand why we're here. Lao Tzu once wrote that "The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms".

Video cuts back to Michael at his brain bookshelf

Our identity as a species - and our every purpose for living is out there, but it's not Handsome - it's not "easy to handle" or "ready at hand". But... maybe... if we can just push into our universe and learn a little more, we may find a... Handsome Reward. And as always, thanks for watching.

Sources 1 & 2

nice. I especially love the inclusion of sources.

Hi Michael! First: coffee or tea? Also, did you know that when pronounced, Vsauce sounds like the Finnish word "viisaus", meaning "wisdom"?

I knew about the Finnish fact, wish I could say that was intentional :)

As for your first question: coffee. Definitely.

I once saw you on the Northern Line travelling through Tottenham Court Road, I was going to shout "Thanks for watching" through the carriage but refrained.

Do you get stopped by people in the street?

You should have said hello! I love meeting Vsaucers on the tube :)

What, in your opinion, is the best Vsauce video ever made?

I'm partial to What Is The Greatest Honor?

But I also love this older one because you can see my dad blowing stuff up in the beginning.

Hi Michael! Thanks for doing this AMA... but what exactly IS an AMA, and would it float in water? Floatation. Does floatation think, and could it make science videos? Science videos... are yours 100% scripted or do you sometimes brainstorm questions as you go like in this comment I'm posting?

More importantly: would the planet Saturn float if you placed it in a giant swimming pool?

Not really. Saturn and the pool of water would be attracted to each other by their enormous gravitational-pulls and nothing would do anything one would call "floating."

Also: I write an entire script for every episode, but I don't speak it word for word when I record. I just rehearse a paragraph or so at a time and then say it as I would say it to a friend. There's no teleprompter or anything.

Your comment reminds me of this parody.

jackfilms is great! And now I want to make a parody video of myself...

What's the strangest question anyone has ever asked you, in relation to science?

What's the opposite of a duck?

I hope to tackle that one soon.

Hey VSauce! MyCool here! What are your favorite non-science pastimes? Music, sports, TV shows, etc. ?

It's hard to say because even things I do to 'waste time' tend to make their way into videos...

I like strange comedy shows like Strangers With Candy and comedians like Stella

I also LOVE sharing bizarre videos with friends -- especially videos with fewer than a few hundred views. Myself and Kevin (Vsauce2) and Jake (Vsauce3) and Jake (who does the Vsauce music) have been doing this via email for a few years now and I think we're up to 300+ crazy videos. Maybe one day we'll share the spoils of our hunt...

Have you ever had any offers to do any TV work such as documentaries?

Yes. Stay tuned ;)

How do you get ideas for video topics?

Ideas usually come from weird facts or perspectives I read about and then REALLY want to share.

I explore related topics until a general 'question' emerges. Sometimes a clear title/question never does, but I make the video anyway. Of course, some topics come straight from twitter or friends or YouTube comments.

Are you a bacon or cheese guy?

Cheese. I have no problem with bacon, mind you, and will admit that bacon+cheese is a whole greater than its parts. However, I will choose sausage+cheese over bacon+cheese any day of the week.

Good job. Your first name = my first name, and your last name = my middle name

Is "David" anywhere in your name? David is my middle name...

Hello! How long does your average video take to make?

It takes about 7-9 days. 7 to research/write/shoot and 1 or 2 to edit.

Hey Michael!

I see you travel a lot between videos, where is your favorite place on earth?

Stilwell, Kansas is my favorite place.

Moscow was my favorite to visit. The Cosmonaut museum was incredible. They've got Belka and Strelka, the first two dogs to go to space and come back alive, stuffed and in cases there.

What question have you not been able to answer, that you have tried?

The question I'm currently working on is the most difficult so far. But also the most full of amazing stuff. I don't want to spoil it ... after this I need to go back to researching. I've had to enlist the help of other science/math/education YouTubers to figure it all out :)

Hello Micheal! Thanks for doing this iama! I'm a fan of Vsauce and I've always wondered, why do you live in England? I thought you were from American originally so I was just curious. Also, is Vsauce2 and Vsauce3 filmed in the states? How often do you come back to work on those shows?

Kevin does Vsauce2 from LA

Jake does Vsauce3 from NYC

and I do Vsauce1 from London. I go back and forth from the UK to the US a lot but holy cow. I've learned SO MUCH by living abroad. It was one of the greatest decisions I ever made. For example: before I moved to the UK I used imperial units for almost everything and it wasn't as easy to travel to other countries. ALSO: the UK has some great educational channels. I'm really thankful to their help. CGPGrey, of course, as well as everything Brady Haran does.

Thanks for that name drop!

no prob.

Hey, Michael! Big fan here!

What is one fact of the universe that never ceases to amaze you, no matter how often you learn, talk, or teach about it?

The fact that about HALF of all humans who have ever lived died from malaria.

Also, there are about 93 billion human skeletons underneath you.

What's a topic you've always wanted to cover, but can't?

EDIT: Due to controversial or ethical reasons, etc.

Not possible. I'll cover anything.

There's nothing too weird. And I'd never avoid something that was controversial. Even the more reason to talk about it.

Everything, even 'empty' questions like "how much does Thursday weigh?" are fertile ground for discovery. Though... not answers.

Have you gone to college?

Also, what turns of fate led you to be the famous youtuber you are today?

I graduated from The University of Chicago. I received bachelor degrees in neuropsychology and English literature

I also did a lot of theater (acting and directing) there. The people I worked with in the theater department at UofC were incredible. The most brilliant and creative people I've ever met.

After I saw this video I realized that internet video had the potential to do really cool, powerful, 'disruptive' things and reach a lot of people. So I jumped in and made some of my own. The first things I made were assembled from found footage. They helped me learn how to edit and practice the kind of timing needed for an internet video to work.

My edits got noticed by Ben Relles from Barely Political and he gave me the opportunity to move to NYC and work for Barely Political. The team there taught me everything I know about YouTube and making videos.

I eventually started Vsauce and now I'm here doing an AMA :)

Hey Vsauce! alienfrog here, and I was wondering:

Thanks for doing this AMA, your channel is my favourite on YouTube and I always save treats to eat for when your vids come out. Have a good day!

I would LOVE to work with /u/Unidan

I'm a huge fan.

I also dream of working with Nathan Barnatt, the people from this channel, and THIS GUY to name A FEW.

EDIT: you asked other questions:

frogs are either the best or at the least, top 5 material.

TV for sure. Stay tuned for updates.

My favourite color is yellow.

Kevin owns a painting I gave him of a guy sticking a fork in a toaster and Jake owns a signing Justin Bieber toothbrush I gave him.

Ah, jeez, you're too nice!


let's make it happen.

Do you still have a thing for Anne Hathaway? ;)

Ummmm.. YES.

How did you shoot the NES cartridge closing title? It seems like it must have been really complicated to set up. Bonus question, who's hand it it?

Edit: A word.

It was a real cartridge with a Vsauce logo glued on it. I scanned the cartridge and printed a paper version that I switched at the last second. That switch was smoothed over in the edit. I also added in the dripping sauce later by doing a totally amateur job of editing :)

The hand belongs to Grace Randolph

Do you support a football club?

Not yet.

But American football? KC CHIEFS.

Michael, What are your top five favorite bands?

Modest Mouse

Com Truise

Black Moth Super Rainbow


The Magnetic Fields

Coke or pepsi?

I haven't drank soda in nearly 12 years.

VSauce Fart Science has already been made, believe it or not!

Tl;dw they would have "fart breath"

That's right. Also, girls totally fart.

Michael, you know I love you and I've been watching your videos in awe for the past years, but that simply is not true.

my favorite piece of evidence

I think Joe Rogan talked about your Youtube videos briefly, would love to see you on his podcast, did he contact you already? Thanks best regards from Germany.

We're talking! Stay tuned!

Hey Michael. I found Vsauce through Barely Political, how did you get involved with them? How did getting involved with other youtubers shape your own youtube career?

Also will the Bearded Nun ever reappear?

My first YouTube channel was discovered by Ben Relles who asked me to come out to NYC to work with Barely Political.

I made some stuff there a lot of Vsauce fans don't know about. For instance:

my most-viewed video ever

I have a goatee in this video!!

This ridiculous edit of found footage

and of course, the Bearded Nun is sure to return...


For sure. Bill Nye is legend.

I was also really inspired by Beakman's World

Beakman was my hero and I met him as a kid! Let me find a picture, I'll be right back...

Are you always excited to make a new video, or does it get boring after a while?

It's never gotten boring. Every episode is a whole new topic. I can do physics and then move on to poetry after that. I love it!

Hey Micheal, what's your favorite dessert?

more savory food.

Hey Michael, I don't have a question. I just wanted to say that I grew up about 30 minutes north of your town in Kansas, and I think it's cool to see someone from so close to me become so well known. Oh, I just thought of a question. One of my favorite videos you released was about music. Do you have any plans to make any more videos about music?


And yes, I'd love to do more on music. Especially on copyright. For instance, songs like "Happy Birthday."

How does the research process for your videos work?

An ENORMOUS amount of books and online searches and chats with experts and friends and at this point, years of writing and speaking and reading. It's what I'd be doing even if I didn't have a YouTube channel, so it's perfect :) It's way better than talking out loud to myself (which I did.. A LOT .. before I had Vsauce)

Just thought I'd say, but at VidCon 2013 I saw you in the Hilton lobby and got nervous and let you just walk right by me. I was kind of scared so I didn't bother on asking for a picture.

You should have said hello! Maybe I'll see you at VidCon this year? If not, I'll say this to you personally now: "as always, Rickgreengiant, thanks for watching"

Hey Michael! Another Michael here! I noticed from the beginning of VSauce to where it is now that you seemed to lose a lot of weight. I wasn't sure if you just started working out or what but you look great and was wondering how you did it! Thanks for doing this AMA by the way!

I worked out (lifted weights at home) and ate MUCH better than I had been. I feel great!

Hey Michael! Me and my girlfriend are from near Cambridge and recommend coming to check out the University whilst you're this side of the pond.

What has been your favourite places to visit in London or the UK?

I was recently in Cambridge and I visited the bar where the discovery of DNA was announced!

I'm definitely coming back.

Norfolk is beautiful and I LOVED Nottingham. My next goal is Bristol.

Have you ever visited Morocco? Cheers from there !

I haven't yet, but I WANT TO!!!

cheers :)

Can we see the full quality picture of you as a young fellow? (The one you showed on the Ted talk or something)

I was a GIANT fan of Beakman's World as a kid so take a look at me (with my sister) dressed as Beakman for Halloween and meeting him IN PERSON!!


Okay, those aren't full quality pics, but let me look for some more...

Sweet, thank you! Though I was thinking more about some other picture where you were in high school or something, but it's alright! Just wanted to see how much of a difference a beard can make!

Ah, I see. How about this one? Me as a high school freshman holding medals I'd just won at a speaking tournament: http://i.imgur.com/Lj9Rltj.jpg

How many languages do you speak, and what are they?

Just one, sadly: English. But one of my goals this year is to get Vsauce in at least 5 more languages. Maybe even with local hosts ....

Can you boomerang a football?


Are you, Jake and Kevin planning to do any collaboration videos in the near future? I would love to see them!

We're going to all be together this summer in LA. We're going to collaborate like crazy.

Do you have a girlfriend?

I do! We've been together for almost 6 months now. She's great, obviously :)

Where did you get your glasses ?


Not a question, but I think you, John Green, and Mike from Idea channel should all be on Wil Wheaton's TableTop. That is all!


Have you ever thought about having a fourth Vsauce Channel?

Yes. OOOOooh yes. I've got ideas...

Whenever I watch one of your videos, I can't help but think that this what an extended, fully answered question from the BBC show QI would look like.

Are you a fan of QI and would you consider appearing on it if you were offered?

I LOVE QI. Like, big time. I would accept that offer in a heartbeat.

What's one fact that you know that is not really well-known but should be?

What exactly science does and DOES NOT do.

Richard Fyenman's The Meaning of it All and KC Cole's The Universe and The Teacup are good reads for that. Among many others.

Who is your favourite author?

Bill Bryson and Miguel de Unamuno

What advice would you give to someone who aspires to produce the kind of interesting, science-y content that is featured on your channel?

Start making videos NOW. Even if they are terrible at first, you don't learn anything or get any better unless you're MAKING THEM.

What is the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything?

Google it.

Can I touch your beard?

Yes. If you can catch it.

How did it feel to meet Bill Nye? I saw him at the beginning of one of your videos and it brought a big smile to my face.

He was hosting the YouTube SpaceLab event and I ran into him while he was packing up his bow ties after the show. Such a great guy. He was amazing for agreeing to shoot with me that day.

How similar to are you IRL to you in the show?

Pretty darn similar. More funny and weird, though. I make more jokes and am not as intense. I raise my eyebrows the same amount IRL, though.

Favourite flavoured pringles?

sour cream and onion

Do you like waffles?

No. Too bread-y. I prefer sausage, eggs, mushrooms, and brown sauce. I am also obsessed with hash browns.

Where are you living now?

London, UK

Which of your videos is your least favorite?

this one.

But I love it. Just not as much as the others :)

Any topics you won't cover?


Are you ever going to consider some sort of live event? Or have you already done one. :)

We're planning one! Stay tuned for details. Especially via twitter. I'll talk about it in a video for sure, too.

What is, in your opinion, the most interesting educational book or subject to read or learn about, respectively?

You've got to read Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything

It's not just about one topic.. except for the topic of Bryson being a polymath in all the best ways.

Your video Is Anything Real is one of my favourite videos on YouTube! My question is How do you know?

Thanks! And also, I don't know.

Michael! I know you from 'weird twitter' (not telling who I am :p ), and I've always wondered: how did you discover/get into all that? Never would have thought it from your vids!

It all started with Rob Delaney RTing @fart.

I followed @fart and was amazed by how creative all these people were. I'm so jealous. And it's my kind of humor.

What is your favourite thing about the UK?

UK fans. As a percentage of its population, the UK has the most Vsaucers.

Also on this topic, do you have a favorite Wheezy video?

his Good Stuff channel is good stuff.

What college/university degrees do you have?

bachelors in Psychology and English Literature from the University of Chicago.

I loved Chicago and the school. Would do it again. And again.

Do you plan on doing a "who is Michael? " video?

It's WAY out of date, but there is this old treasure

I'm hoping to do a "Draw My Life" soon.

One thing that I saw a while ago when someone had an AMA request for you was how factual is your information? People asked because they were shot down when they sourced your videos for information.

Don't source me, source the much cooler and better and smarter people I source in my video descriptions.

I triple-check everything and run the reasoning by really smart people. I've also deleted videos with mistakes, fixed them, and re-uploaded.

Hey Michael! I've been a fan of Vsauce for a while and love all of your videos. But the one that really stood out to me was your video on what makes something "creepy". Very compelling and fear inducing. Any plans on making any more horror themed Vsauce?

I would LOVE to. I've got some ideas in the works... but what do you mean by horror? What kinds of topics do you think would be horror/scary and also Vsaucey?

BTW: the director-and-writer commentary on Scream is what inspired me to pursue video and film-making in the first place.

Hey Michael, been a fan since 2011 and watched all of your and Kevin's and Jake's videos. I recently met up with Derek Muller in Stockholm, and it was awesome, would you ever consider travelling and meeting Vsaucers?

I do! follow me on twitter to find out where I'll be next.

Did you study linguistics? because your knowledge of etymology is amazing, especially if it's self taught. Also do you have a girl friend? how do you keep your beard so trim? where do you get your glasses from? Also you live in London, ever visited Brighton?

I have a girlfriend (we're approaching 6 months now!)

And funny enough, SHE trims my beard. She's great. Before her, I trimmed it myself and you can see a NOTICEABLE improvement since she's gotten involved.

My glasses are from Specsavers lol

I studied English Literature in college but have been an avid reader of linguistic text books for most of my life :)

What's on your dvr?

old episodes of The Twilight Zone

Hey could you translate your videos?

I'm working on it! It's a big goal for this year.

I currently go to UChicago, and I was wondering what your college experience was like. Did you like it here? Did you encounter something to make you want to make Vsauce?

The people. UofC attracts a great, unique student base. The theater department was full of math majors and scientists who also loved acting. I think that's where I fell in love with learning AND communicating.

Hey Michael! I doubt you are able to do videos to the quality of yours without a few mistakes. How many times is the most you've had to redo a scene?

more than 30. But the average is probably 3.

There are also about 2 minutes from every shoot that I cut from the final export. Maybe one day I'll combine them into a deleted scenes. They're full of neat stuff, but tend to be TOO tangential >.>

Hey Mike.


Michael, Chinese takeout or pizza?

Also, how do you like your tea/coffee?

Onion and mushroom pizza topped with crab rangoons ordered via Chinese takeout.

I take my coffee black. no sugar. Light roast.

Where do you have your best ideas? (example: the shower)


~A fan

talking myself through a logic train, out loud and alone.

Michael Stevens sir, you have come a long way since Blue Valley High. Just sayin congrats man.


Thanks, and GO TIGERS!

What was it like to meet President Obama?

He's hilarious and sharp and way more handsome than I even expected.

what are you always doing down there?

shorter squats.

Aye your cousin is my best friend.

My cousins are the best.

Do you secretly browse reddit?

It's no secret.

Preferred drink, alcoholic and non.

That is all.

Hi =)

coffee or Monster Absolute Zero.











Have you ever gone fishing?

I went deep sea fishing with my dad off the coast of Miami a few years ago. Was amazing but also I almost fell of the boat.

Did you ask Obama some mind boggling questions when you went to meet him?

I did not. I DID, however, explain the correct pronunciation of "gif" to him.

What to ask Michael Stevens on his AMA?

I know, right?


They were the only stadium we could book that day. And also it was freezing and I needed a hat. They had one. That said, I'm a fan.

How do you handle your popularity on Youtube and what do you think about the less popular yet equally awesome Youtube educational channels out there? There's some really good ones out there like "Think Fact" as one of them.

My FAVORITE (I'm not exaggerating here) thing to do is shout out new/smaller educational channels. Or comedy or music or art etc. channels for that matter.

There are some great people on YouTube and I have the ability to help people find them. We've got entire shows and a channel dedicated to doing this.

Michael I'm a little confused about Vsauce and I hope you can clear some of that confusion. At the start of the video you say "Hey Vsauce, Michael here." But I'm not Vsauce, I'm /u/octopenis. You're Vsauce - or are you Michael?

The question is, who is Vsauce? Because it's definitely not me!

Biggest mystery in the universe IMO

Do You Have A Kid?


Who does the music? s'good music..


What is your favourite tv show of all time?

Good Eats is a personal favorite.

Beakman's World inspired me to talk about the world with enthusiasm.

And Strangers With Candy is something I go through about once a year.

Also: Gilmore Girls. Not kidding.

What was your experience at the University of Chicago like? Any tips for incoming students?

Do Scav Hunt. Get to know everyone involved. Also, the Shady Dealer is probably full of cool people. I was there when that group started.

Have you ever seen an episode of Ancient Aliens?

No, but I've read about the theory.

Hi Michael. Love all things Vsauce.

I was wondering if you could tell us what your real age is. Whenever a birth date comes up in a video 1986 is the year given. And in one video you say you were in college in 2006.

Are you really only 27/28?

Yea, I'm 28. Born 23 January 1986.

Hey Michael, were you at the Google/Comcast building in London last Thursday afternoon? I was sat in the lobby with two massive fans of yours, if it was you then I guess they were justified in squeeing like little girls!

haha, yep! That was probably me :)

What was your favorite subject in school? Does it still interest you?

Psychology. My teacher was amazing. To this day I'm remembering things from his class and sharing them via Vsauce. In a way, almost every famous study in psychology was really just a super clever prank. Learning about how we study human behavior and cognition got me addicted to the topic.


How do we know your videos are real if our eyes aren't real?

You don't. You just have to believe.

How many hours of research does it take to make an average video? It looks like it takes endless research to me. Also how do you research your facts?

About 5-6 days go into researching and writing and shooting. 1-2 days go to editing. During about 2 of those writing days I don't do anything but work from when I wake up to when I go to bed. It's fun and it's what I'd be doing anyway if there was no Vsauce or YouTube :)

Hello Michael, I have a quick question for you.

If we take GODZILLA out of the movie and put him down in real-life, would he be able to survive?

This is about the new movie

Sounds like a good Vsauce3 video!

Probably the closest answer I can give is in this video about how large Earthlings can get (check the description for relevant links to your question).

Hey Vsauce, what is your hands down, favorite food?

Tzatziki sauce

Kinda random but it's a question I've always wanted to know and thought you'd be the best person to ask...

Is it possible to melt wood?

Wood is made of all kinds of things -- each with their own unique melting point. Unfortunately there is no such thing as 'liquid wood' ... unless maybe you heated it enough to turn the whole things into a plasma... but then that'd be a plasma..

Let's get science on this stat. I want to drink a pizza.

Is there a topic so wacky that not even you would venture towards conquering?

Impossible. The wackier the better.

Hey Michael huge fan here. I'm so glad you're doing this AMA and hopefully you can answer this question I've always wondered.

When you get the idea for a new video topic, what is usually the process you take to gather facts and information? How the hell do you gather so much knowledge on a topic in such a short space of time?

By now I've been doing this for so long that I have a lot of 'stuff' in my head. I do a lot of reading and searching and chatting with experts/friends.

I share what I learn with people and if they are intrigued and want to keep talking about it I know it's good for the script. Even if it's tangential :)

Will there ever be a VSauce channel hosted by a lady? Just wondering...

I hope so! It won't be long actually.

Are there any videos that you have on the back burner waiting to be finished or are all of your videos done completely within the week?

I've never had any on the back burner. They're made one at a time.

I've got ideas for future videos I REALLY want to do, but until the next one's done I can't really start on them. I've hired an editor/researcher here in London who is making it easier so hopefully I'll be making videos quicker and of the same quality soon.

What advice do you have for a future Youtuber?

Always be making stuff.

Seriously. That's how you learn. And watch your friends watch what you make. If you sense them getting antsy or bored, figure out why.

Don't make things just because you think people want to see stuff like it. You're probably right, but everyone does that. Make what you want to talk about out-loud to yourself. Believe it or not, a million other people (or more) probably want to join that conversation. They won't be able too, though, if you don't make stuff!

Hey Micheal, how do you feel about the fact my mother thinks you are boring and talk too much?

I love you by the way.

I love your mom, though :'(



Hi Michael,

I'm from Australia, I've stayed up in hope that you'd answer my friends question as he has admired your work for years and is a great supporter of yours. It's 5:30am here now and I'd love to surprise him with a reply. It would mean the world to him :)

"Individual senses make mistakes. Our sense of touch tells us our sight was wrong for not seeing the spider web. The brain is assumed to have developed after the senses. Could the brain just be a 'sense' that 'sees' the other senses' contradictions? In other words, could the brain be purely for questioning - questioning the contradictions of the senses? Further, could the image of conciousness be purely an illusion to reconcile these contradictions?"

First of all, thanks for watching and staying up so late!!

It could be. We also have good evidence that the brain's primary reason for 'winning' against selective pressures was the need to MOVE. There are creatures still around today that digest their own brains once they no longer need to move -- even though they can still 'sense' things like movement.

So maybe the brain emerged for simple reasons and then was like, "whoa, should I deal with this stuff too???" and brains that did it well enough helped the organism reproduce better/faster/more-healthily and became the norm.

Michael, is it true that pooplicker888 was your first channel? If so, what does the 888 mean? Does it take 888 licks to get to the center of a piece of poop? Speaking of licking to get to the center of things, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll Center of a Tootsie Pop? Can you do a video on that? (I know, I know, kinda unrealistic but still)

It's true, but I think I just liked the number 8 that day. And also, "pooplicker" with no numbers was already taken :'(

No I can't be too late :( I had planned this question all week :(

Michael if you are still here! Over the past years your youtube channel vsauce has lead you to meet many people, out of all the people you have met which experience was the most bizarre/humbling/moving? Have you ever felt moved/humbled/impressed by any interaction with a fan?

My Fingers are crossed hoping you are still here.

I'm still here! My favorite is meeting people who know about my earlier videos -- it's like we've been on this journey together :)

Do you write all the content for your videos? I find they're often so insightful and the links between topics so awesome that I struggle to believe it comes from just one man!

yep! I write them all. I have help with the initial research now from a great guy (whose name happens to be Guy) I hired here in London. He also helps me edit and create images/visualizations. Hopefully, this extra help will allow me to make more videos and keep the quality the same!

Hey Michael, Liam here! (I had to.)

Which one fact changed the way you looked at the world. Something astounding or really basic which is overlooked by the majority of people?

Not a fact, but an idea: "sonder"


No. Thank YOU. Thank all of you.

When I was in the YouTube Studios in London I stumbled upon you while you were minding your business , said Hi , you said hi back.

On a scale of 0 to Banana how would you rate this Greeting experience?


This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Michael Stevens conducted on Reddit on 2014-04-21. The Reddit AMA can be found here.