Can You Swim in Shade Balls?

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)"


  1. 1,000 Subscribers With No Videos?

    1,000 Subscribers With No Videos?34 minutes ago

    Does anyone else think they look like that scene from Incredibles?

  2. Grant Keizer

    Grant KeizerHour ago

    at 3:50 you can see the drone

  3. Grant Keizer

    Grant KeizerHour ago


  4. Grant Keizer

    Grant KeizerHour ago

    ya time to release the balls

  5. Hannah G

    Hannah G3 hours ago

    my anxiety levels shot up real quick 😭

  6. Myrihiff Duty

    Myrihiff Duty6 hours ago

    Veritasium 👍💯 Who want veritasium goes to 🌙🌚 Like 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

  7. Carl Hammill

    Carl Hammill15 hours ago

    10,000 * .30 = $3,000 usd for him to do this.

  8. Kaimalie

    Kaimalie18 hours ago

    I think I just witnessed suicide in the intro lol

  9. Alec’s Channel!

    Alec’s Channel!22 hours ago

    sounds a bit wrong don’t ya think swimming in a pool of BLACK BALLS

  10. Avafrank6 Basketball4life

    Avafrank6 Basketball4life23 hours ago

    3:25 yeah he jumped in but then theres the camera man😂

  11. yuriannna

    yuriannna23 hours ago

    You can’t imagine how much anxiety this video is giving me. Also i can’t swim

  12. leaselle

    leaselleDay ago

    This gives me so much anxiety

  13. mkayla45

    mkayla45Day ago

    That's a great pool cover tho

  14. AlyssaTheAlphaXO

    AlyssaTheAlphaXODay ago

    “A lot of balls in the face!” Veritasium 2019

  15. angel marte

    angel marteDay ago

    it seems that the US is doomed if left to the sheer idiocy that plagues its media.

  16. Chanderdat Laltoo

    Chanderdat LaltooDay ago

    hi. how can i get these shade balls...Please contact me since it is for a different purpose

  17. Overwhelming Surplus Of Diggity

    Overwhelming Surplus Of Diggity2 days ago

    this gives me claustrophobia.

  18. •GachaWøffles•

    •GachaWøffles•2 days ago

    “But it’s kinda like quicksand,” “O-oh, no.”

  19. Theo Kh

    Theo Kh2 days ago

    0:10 do you mean incredi ball?

  20. Eclipse :p

    Eclipse :p2 days ago

    So. How are they gonna get them *out* ....

  21. Swiftalz -_-

    Swiftalz -_-2 days ago

    Butterfly is challenging in itself to do why would anyone ever do that.

  22. Hothkinstroy

    Hothkinstroy3 days ago

    3:17 did this guy just jump in air?

  23. Riley Sheldon

    Riley Sheldon3 days ago

    3:53 they using a drone look at the shadow to the right

  24. breadstick 'n'dip

    breadstick 'n'dip3 days ago

    You cant swin in the reservoir because its drinking water. But you can drive a boat that uses oil

  25. Kundan

    Kundan3 days ago

    watching the pool fill up with these black balls is so satisfying and disgusting.

  26. Juan Pablo Valencia

    Juan Pablo Valencia3 days ago

    5:45 that's gotta hurt

  27. Gleam シ

    Gleam シ3 days ago


  28. Rockstarfoxy Production's

    Rockstarfoxy Production's3 days ago

    How will he get them all out

  29. sauce slos

    sauce slos4 days ago

    This gave me so much anxiety

  30. Mario C90

    Mario C904 days ago

    7:14 you can see his instant regret face as he goes under

  31. Taylor Churchill

    Taylor Churchill4 days ago

    I would love to do this.

  32. Hector Vitti

    Hector Vitti4 days ago

    1920: *we will have fliyng cars int the future* 2019: -* im about to swim in shy balls-*

  33. Cup of Coco

    Cup of Coco5 days ago

    When they did a drone shot of them pouring the balls in it reminded me of boba 😂

  34. Carl Ruby Højland Nielsen

    Carl Ruby Højland Nielsen5 days ago

    Tbh i had no idea what a shade ball was i just clicked cause it looked like those balls from The Imcredibles

  35. Andrew Chadwick

    Andrew Chadwick5 days ago

    8:02 me trying to swim

  36. iays

    iays5 days ago

    cant you swim under it and come up for air wvery 10 seconds or so

  37. MrInfiniteWolf ツ

    MrInfiniteWolf ツ5 days ago

    Below water of the balls is sick!

  38. Nicholicious

    Nicholicious5 days ago

    The school thot at a pool party: 3:41

  39. Angelica Poh

    Angelica Poh6 days ago

    It looks like metal atoms

  40. Mr Gaming 2007

    Mr Gaming 20076 days ago

    Is it just me or does this remind you of that scene from the incredibles where all the balls blasted him and started sticking to him

  41. TheMostEpicPairOfSocks

    TheMostEpicPairOfSocks6 days ago

    I actually held my breath right before he jumped in without realizing.

  42. Talant Ziadinov

    Talant Ziadinov6 days ago

    if you wanna swim trough you have to take deep breaths and dive under it and come up so u can take a break, with the help of the balls staying on the sruface shouldnt be so exhausting ;)

  43. Davis Harry

    Davis Harry6 days ago


  44. MsNooneinparticular

    MsNooneinparticular6 days ago

    We're in that weird part of USwork again, kids.

  45. Leticia Pereira

    Leticia Pereira6 days ago

    my god my anxiety is KILLING ME

  46. Captain Morgan IV

    Captain Morgan IV6 days ago

    But it's kinda like quicksa-*csapcshdhakshdhdjd*

  47. gloten gloat

    gloten gloat6 days ago

    You're a dumbass

  48. JL - 08BN - Thomas Street MS (1654)

    JL - 08BN - Thomas Street MS (1654)6 days ago

    That's a lot of tapioca

  49. sarah docinho

    sarah docinho6 days ago

    Meu sonho

  50. A Unfamiliar Account.

    A Unfamiliar Account.6 days ago


  51. Insert Minecraft Meme Here

    Insert Minecraft Meme Here7 days ago

    "I am swimming... but I'm getting a lot of *balls* in my face."

  52. Trump's Neck Vagina

    Trump's Neck Vagina7 days ago

    You got a lot of balls😲

  53. Leon Chung

    Leon Chung7 days ago

    Looks like caviar from drone view

  54. Hafextas

    Hafextas7 days ago

    this reminds me of The Incredibles part when bob is thrown at with this black sticky balls

  55. Brittany Walls

    Brittany Walls7 days ago

    DO NOT TRY AT HOME!!!!!!!

  56. Sordid Bacon

    Sordid Bacon7 days ago

    He had at least 3 bags left

  57. Lord Humungous

    Lord Humungous7 days ago

    Clean up must have been a bitch

  58. Music Tho

    Music Tho8 days ago

    How awesome would it be if we could breathe under water? Like we just hold our breath but we never run out of it. How cool would it be to take a weight and put yourself down there and look at the water and the light above you and just stay there.

  59. Abhijeet Singh

    Abhijeet Singh8 days ago

    Looked like he was setting himself up for drowning...jeez

  60. Thushara Buddhika

    Thushara Buddhika8 days ago

    Is he swimming?