Finding a niche on YouTube is the key to a successful channel. Whether it’s makeup tutorials, unboxing new products or reaction videos, a consistent theme is key to building your audience. One of the most fun and exciting genres to explore is amateur science.

What is Amateur Science?

The term amateur science conjures up images of wire-haired wingnuts toiling away in underground labs. And to some degree, that image isn’t far off. In particular, it refers to people who do science for the love of it, without any promise of pay or reward. From backyard astronomers to garage tinkerers, throughout the ages, amateur scientists have been responsible for countless cutting-edge breakthroughs and discoveries.

On YouTube, the amateur science genre incorporates visually exciting experiments that test a theory or demonstrate a scientific principle. While sometimes they offer an explanation of the forces at work, these videos tend to focus on the fun and showy aspects instead of being overly academic.

Some amateur science channels show obscure phenomenon, while others feature common occurrences seen in a new light. Whatever the focus, the genre excels at engaging the viewers’ natural curiosity about the world around us and can serve to promote scientific literacy.

Some of the heavy hitters in the amateur science genre:

CrazyRussianHacker: Where safety is #1 priority!

• UPLOADS 1,011
• SUBSCRIBERS 9,817,995
• VIDEO VIEWS 1,978,542,145

The Crazy Russian Hacker channel has been active since 2012 and has built a following of almost 10 million subscribers. Content spans a wide range of popular topics from scientific demonstrations to life hacks and product tests. Whether you want to see if a person can stand on a carton of eggs without breaking any or how to make bismuth crystals, the Crazy Russian Hacker’s videos have something sure to pique your interest.

Grant Thompson: King of Random

• SUBSCRIBERS 7,888,805
• VIDEO VIEWS 1,291,741,738

Since 2010, Thompson has been releasing weekly videos “dedicated to exploring life through all kinds of life hacks, experiments, and random weekend projects”. Along the way, he has racked up over 7 million subscribers. His videos cover a quite a gamut of topics, from how to make gunpowder to making lego gummy candy. Each week The King of Random takes viewers on a exciting trip through experimentation.

The Slow Mo Guys

• SUBSCRIBERS 9,230,592
• VIDEO VIEWS 1,142,755,264

The Slow Mo Guys joined YouTube in 2010 with one simple mission: to explore the world in slow motion. Using high speed cameras, this channel gives viewers a new way to see in a dramatic shift from our normal perspective. The Slow-Mo Guys have over 9 million subscribers who enjoy seeing mundane actions like a dog jumping; or hopefully less common ones — throwing a molotov cocktail — all shot at 1000 frames per second or faster.

What’s Next?

The amateur science genre on YouTube started with content creators looking at everyday items and asking the simple question “what would happen if…?” It’s grown into a world that mixes education with showmanship and spectacle. As this style of video progresses, it has the potential to provoke deep curiosity in its viewers and inspire innovation and discovery. It’s not too far off to think it could produce a class of rock-star scientists, celebrities who push us to better understand our world and how we have the ability to shape it.

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