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)"


  • Nebosvod gonzalez

    Nebosvod gonzalez

    Hour ago

    just Recycle them

  • Michael Ganzer

    Michael Ganzer

    6 hours ago

    Now, this very video finally made me become one of your Lithium patreons, quite sure to go up the ranks - and a patreon at all for my very first time. Thank you so much for you videos and for your scientific and entertaining insight. Not long ago I watched your personal story. This is when I found myself to understand your deep dig into your own motivation. I'm glad that you've made it so far. Keep up with your good work! I spared a bootle of my selfmade wine for you, just in case I'll ever meet you, I'll bring it along.

  • Emely


    6 hours ago


  • Emely


    6 hours ago

    What are shade balls?

  • shelbel82


    14 hours ago

    I live in Alabama so we don't get a lot

  • Michael Anderson

    Michael Anderson

    17 hours ago

    Alright, you’re kind of throwing some shade at us with this one.

  • Live By Faith

    Live By Faith

    21 hour ago

    It look like a boba tea lol

  • Nutella


    21 hour ago

    Nobody gonna talk about how he jumped so far?

  • Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson

    22 hours ago


  • PorkNotBeef


    22 hours ago

    The near perfect alignment of those balls and the amount of sound is trippin' me out.

  • Paul Kinder

    Paul Kinder

    23 hours ago

    Just be honest....the thought of all those black balls made you horney.

  • iTravel Sports

    iTravel Sports

    Day ago

    How coooool!

  • cmdeane


    Day ago

    what a waste of money

  • Whitney Sims

    Whitney Sims

    Day ago

    Y does this remind me of co co puffs😂

  • NotCharging


    Day ago

    Wait...couldn’t you just put shade balls over your pool in the winter with a tarp?

  • Blobby YT

    Blobby YT

    Day ago

    Its bad for the nature because its plastic

  • Ava Gomez

    Ava Gomez

    Day ago

    this just gave me anxiety

  • Vorcefull Vorce

    Vorcefull Vorce

    Day ago

    How u get them all out

  • Herbert Coleman

    Herbert Coleman

    Day ago

    I hope I'm not too late to get a shade ball.

  • Shade Jamison

    Shade Jamison

    Day ago

    😶 "Shade" balls..... My name is shade.... 😳

  • A Youtuber

    A Youtuber

    Day ago

    His poor wrist, imagine signing something 10,000 times

  • Candy Lover

    Candy Lover

    Day ago

    Do NOT do this at home😉👍

  • Faux Falconry

    Faux Falconry

    Day ago

    This made my asthma cry on the inside

  • best videos

    best videos

    Day ago

    I need please .....

  • Paula J

    Paula J

    Day ago


  • Jessie Dizon

    Jessie Dizon

    2 days ago

    Did you using it to create static energy with chargeable battery inside it goes through a static inside a spinning thing that create static like a duster it creates static when using it so this spinning thing are like that to creating static when its fully charge the battery goes in one collected area of the ball that fully charge again in this collected ball here is the ball with chargeable battery are being drained of its static energy then it goes back again to the spinning static to charge the chargeable battery in the collected ball this are going to spinning like a spiral or drill that fits one ball going back to the spinning static to charge again when the chargeable battery are used as a electricity up the spiral like drill will push it back to spinning static to charge again? ⚡🔆👽

  • Killer Kat

    Killer Kat

    2 days ago

    I'm gonna be a hater here for a second but I have been swimming for almost 8 years now and their swimming wash TERRIBLE I am not a hater it just really annoyed me. I seriously love this channel so pls don't kill meh!



    2 days ago

    The question is how is going to get them out

  • Murugesan A

    Murugesan A

    2 days ago

    Brother can you do a video on qantum entanglement

  • Saikumar Bunny

    Saikumar Bunny

    2 days ago

    It's not 91% .... It's only π/4 ~ 78% Any thoughts?

  • Naima M. Ali

    Naima M. Ali

    2 days ago

    you know what i think? i think david dobrik should totally buy this.

  • Nappypuff


    2 days ago

    thiis was the most beautiful fluid mosaic ever

  • Lavina Coleman

    Lavina Coleman

    2 days ago

    3:46 no homo

  • osamr toro

    osamr toro

    2 days ago


  • Geovanni Franco

    Geovanni Franco

    2 days ago

    Oof ion think u can bc dats a lot of shade oooo I swear am cringe af

  • Arissa Aispuro

    Arissa Aispuro

    2 days ago

    thank u for the clarification ig i won’t be buying 10,000 giant black olives to fill my pool if it’s gonna make it hard for me to swim

  • goth lust

    goth lust

    2 days ago

    How much were all those shade balls ?

  • sinekonata


    2 days ago

    Veritasium : The science of shade balls. Me : unsubscribe. Click bait fish : OMG subscribe.

  • Strawberrycake*-*


    2 days ago

    So what’s the purpose of the balls?

  • Jacob the Fishermen99

    Jacob the Fishermen99

    3 days ago

    That would take me a long time to clean up

  • Savannah Lada

    Savannah Lada

    3 days ago

    You should make a giant boba tea drink with those😂😂😂

  • Leonid Romanov

    Leonid Romanov

    3 days ago

    So, are they like Higgs boson?

  • Charles Mendez

    Charles Mendez

    3 days ago

    3:45 he loves it

  • Tyrese James

    Tyrese James

    3 days ago

    i cant become one of your because my family is pore and i cant even give you dollar sorry love you tho i hope i cant get one f those balls 😢😢😢😢😢

  • Shoot Me

    Shoot Me

    3 days ago

    I still want to swim in those

  • Keane Nelson

    Keane Nelson

    3 days ago

    Anyone else see how it looked like he was stepping on something in the air when he jumped in

  • Skandar


    3 days ago

    This guy has a lot of balls. I also saw 2 balls bouncing over his chin.

  • Lance Trahan

    Lance Trahan

    4 days ago

    When you got that USdownload/Patreon money: "I bought 10,000 shade balls."

  • absolut_height_advantage


    4 days ago

    Collect them and donate them to another reservoir

  • Wat Dat

    Wat Dat

    3 days ago

    He sold them all. I got one.

  • Daniel de Mattos Gonçalves

    Daniel de Mattos Gonçalves

    4 days ago

    So many people starving to death...

  • Wat Dat

    Wat Dat

    3 days ago

    So buy them food you selfish bastard.

  • Angel K

    Angel K

    4 days ago

    Only liking for the slowmo portion

  • Diablo Inferno

    Diablo Inferno

    4 days ago

    Well... This proves that swimming in shade balls is very hard/pointless

  • Marco the Diamond Apple Guy

    Marco the Diamond Apple Guy

    4 days ago

    I dint get a single anxiety in this video, is that normal? Obviously thats really normal cause i dint have mental issues like you guys, and im already 15

  • VaL 0

    VaL 0

    4 days ago

    "Light coming through the CRACKS and reflecting off the BALLS"

  • VaL 0

    VaL 0

    4 days ago

    "Its time to release the balls" Thst sounds.... eh, who cares

  • Nevaeh Wheeler’s Hot Mess Express

    Nevaeh Wheeler’s Hot Mess Express

    4 days ago

    What are these “shade balls”?

  • Jason Wester

    Jason Wester

    4 days ago

    So the state that has basically outlawed plastic drinking straws is now covering their drinking water it plastic balls? Is California actually meant to be inhabitable?



    4 days ago

    this guy has some balls

  • Michelle Rahmoeller

    Michelle Rahmoeller

    4 days ago

    Can I pay you to mail me one?? I have to give a presentation on these in a month but I can't find where to buy just one. :(

  • Wat Dat

    Wat Dat

    3 days ago

    They've all been sold already. You're a little late

  • candish dew Gacha

    candish dew Gacha

    4 days ago

    What about the other type of balls 😂

  • Cmuldoon99


    4 days ago

    shoutout to the worst swimmer ive ever seen

  • sutil Al

    sutil Al

    5 days ago

    New disorder is born, Spherephobic.

  • SlicexNxDice612


    5 days ago

    00:05 when you put it in for the first time

  • dnnxinsta


    5 days ago

    Please reply to this comment in 5 years!

  • Alboy the slumped god

    Alboy the slumped god

    5 days ago

    I hate you

  • Roblox is Faceless

    Roblox is Faceless

    5 days ago

    2:13 When no nut November is over lol

  • justcanteron 2143

    justcanteron 2143

    5 days ago

    this video gives me ANXIETY OMG

  • milan cora

    milan cora

    5 days ago

    It looks like the Incredibles sceene where black balls cover Mr Incredible...

  • Hank spongerat

    Hank spongerat

    5 days ago

    When he went oh no I felt that XD

  • randy chiggins

    randy chiggins

    5 days ago

    How many balls you still got?

  • Wat Dat

    Wat Dat

    3 days ago

    none. all sold.

Next videos