Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?

I took a boat through 96 million black plastic balls on the Los Angeles reservoir to find out why they're there. The first time I heard about shade balls the claim was they reduce evaporation. But it turns out this isn't the reason they were introduced.
Huge thanks to LADWP for arranging this special tour for me. Next time let's put the GoPro on the submersible!
The balls are made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) which is less dense than water so they float on the surface of the reservoir even if they break apart. They are 10cm (4 inches) in diameter and contain about 210ml of water. So the main reason they are on the reservoir is to block sunlight from entering the water and triggering a chemical reaction that turns harmless bromide into carcinogenic bromate. This effect occurs with prolonged exposure to bromate so regulators insist that levels be kept below 10 microgram per liter on average over a 12 month period.
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.
Thanks to:
Las Virgenes Reservoir for footage of initial shade ball dump
Euro-Matic for bird into jet-engine footage
Researched and Produced by Casey Rentz
Animations by Maria Raykova
Music from epidemicsound.com "Colorful Animation 4" "Seaweed"
And from Kevin MacLeod "Marty Gots a Plan"
This is an educational video about the science of water quality.

Comments

  • Shailen

    Shailen

    2 minutes ago

    Veritasium: It's very rare for you to see 96 million of anything USdownload: i will rec this vid to everyone

  • hiJetty

    hiJetty

    4 minutes ago

    stopped this at 0:01 so i can answer this title question: bc you like to copy mr beast douchebag

  • peter lundqvist

    peter lundqvist

    7 minutes ago

    It's only half of what it has in Nigeria?!

  • Jason

    Jason

    9 minutes ago

    "Once we deployed the balls, all the birds were gone." Lol

  • Twan van Dongen

    Twan van Dongen

    11 minutes ago

    Hmm, I wasn't THAT far off... I figured it was to block the sunlight from forming alge... Turns out that's just a side-benefit

  • JT jt

    JT jt

    12 minutes ago

    I do not trust anything that liberals do or say. They don't do anything with good intentions for this country. It's the same thing they're doing on our skies with "chemtrails".

  • Grow Giantess

    Grow Giantess

    13 minutes ago

    This video was suggested to me as I watched, "My Video Went Viral. Here's Why", anyone else?

  • S. M.

    S. M.

    19 minutes ago

    USdownload tried to force-feed me this video. I never watched it. But just now, after watching "how to make a video go viral" this Veritasium guy whom I've not watched before, got me to come here. Do you think I still have freedom of choice? Hmmmm.

  • willem schipper

    willem schipper

    21 minute ago

    They show cool crystal defects just like in Steve Mould's video

  • BAM Toob

    BAM Toob

    24 minutes ago

    Why not white to reflect heat?

  • torod213

    torod213

    13 minutes ago

    How about actually watching the video

  • SKYLINE R33

    SKYLINE R33

    33 minutes ago

    so if that's drinking water why the hell are they driving a boat around in it?

  • Leo Messi

    Leo Messi

    36 minutes ago

    *Syndrome approves this method...*

  • Shivika Khurana

    Shivika Khurana

    Hour ago

    What is the replacement for the birds natural water source?

  • CR100026740

    CR100026740

    Hour ago

    96,000,000 Juden solutions?🤫

  • Justineisftw

    Justineisftw

    Hour ago

    Is anyone else worried that they have a motorized boat in drinking water? So gas is going into the water ...

  • torod213

    torod213

    8 minutes ago

    What... I don't even... My local drinking water lake has a marina in it. Do you actually think driving a boat in a lake would have any effect on the drinking water quality?? Holy crap some people...

  • grandolddrummer

    grandolddrummer

    Hour ago

    That's a banger.

  • Valou

    Valou

    Hour ago

    An ecological catastrophe

  • Art Carvajal

    Art Carvajal

    Hour ago

    so took the moron forever to explain what the hell those balls are for..

  • John Dough

    John Dough

    Hour ago

    lets get this video to 96,000,000 views!!!

  • Alex Mcdougall.

    Alex Mcdougall.

    Hour ago

    That’s what we need. More plastic.

  • Jeppe Kristoffersen

    Jeppe Kristoffersen

    Hour ago

    When i saw this on my youtube, i didn't want to watch it. I normally watch all your videos. But it seemed uninteresting to me. I knew part of the story as well. But youtube kept pushing it, and i finally saw it. Your new video is waaaay better. The only reason i took distance to thisvideo was because of the clickbaity title. And i've learned throgh experience that clickbaits never give you what they promise.

  • MR Micah Motherfucking KING

    MR Micah Motherfucking KING

    Hour ago

    Look at all those balls And Think thats how Big The Bro army is 😦 I cant even belive it

  • Michael Kmiotek

    Michael Kmiotek

    Hour ago

    We are told not to drink bottled water that has been in a hot car, so do the black balls get hot and leach chemicals?

  • Manoj Raghavendran

    Manoj Raghavendran

    Hour ago

    Wow. This video blew up.

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Abhijeet Mishra

    Hour ago

    LOOK. ALL BIRDS ARE GONE. HUMANS WILL DIE STUPID DEATH.

  • torod213

    torod213

    7 minutes ago

    What the..

  • mark clement

    mark clement

    Hour ago

    Wait...you're telling me that California didn't do an environmental impact study that determined that the black balls would harm some kind of wildlife?

  • hipangeo

    hipangeo

    Hour ago

    Viral!

  • Duncandoesstuff

    Duncandoesstuff

    2 hours ago

    I know science is gonna got down when I hear that dinging veritasium music 😄

  • Muzamil Shah

    Muzamil Shah

    2 hours ago

    How about walking on them!

  • Breezy Mods

    Breezy Mods

    2 hours ago

    Damn even pornhub cant compete. 4real tho theirs like no black guys in comparison to the black guys i see in porn

  • Pilletta Doinswartsh

    Pilletta Doinswartsh

    2 hours ago

    Before watching this video, I will make my guess: The key may be that they are black. Black reflects the most light (and therefore heat) from the sun. Which will keep the water at a lower temperature. Why they want the water at a lower temperature, I don't know.

  • torod213

    torod213

    6 minutes ago

    Black reflects the most light? Is this some kind of joke??? Omfg how can you even... I just can't cope with this, I'm out

  • bingola45

    bingola45

    Hour ago

    Black reflects the most light... ?

  • Jorge Sánchez

    Jorge Sánchez

    2 hours ago

    I'm surprised to hear that they don't filter the water from the reservoir

  • FM from Subeg

    FM from Subeg

    2 hours ago

    I love mine and La Reservoir balls

  • blue dream47

    blue dream47

    2 hours ago

    i saw "96,000,000 Black Balls" and thought this was a riley reid video

  • YoutubeProfile17

    YoutubeProfile17

    2 hours ago

    Great vid

  • Mr Singh

    Mr Singh

    2 hours ago

    Tbh, I was expecting some 'balls' jokes

  • Ryan Zarks

    Ryan Zarks

    2 hours ago

    When bromate combine with 9 years old it will become brofist

  • HitodamaKyrie

    HitodamaKyrie

    2 hours ago

    Finally decided to come here due to the recent algorithm discussion video. I remember my reaction to seeing the title the first time. *Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?:* "I have no idea." _scrolls past to look for other videos to watch_

  • muh diversity

    muh diversity

    2 hours ago

    Indeed my exact same reaction. Not sure what prompted me to give in and finally watch this. My only reaction is I'm happy I don't live in a big city and/or California.

  • mauricerizat

    mauricerizat

    2 hours ago

    Okay, USdownload! You win. I'm finally watching this video. Now please take this off my recommendations.

  • muh diversity

    muh diversity

    2 hours ago

    Another reason not to live in California/LA.

  • NoneIsAllMinusSome

    NoneIsAllMinusSome

    2 hours ago

    Weird flex but ok

  • ローテンション猪谷

    ローテンション猪谷

    2 hours ago

    何だかよく分からんが、とりあえずスゴイ。

  • Potato

    Potato

    2 hours ago

    Thats a banger.

  • Colin Fisher

    Colin Fisher

    2 hours ago

    Veritasium: It’s really rare to see 96 million of anything Miles between Earth and the Sun: Am I a joke to you?

  • Chris Russo

    Chris Russo

    2 hours ago

    It's 8am, I haven't gone to sleep yet and I'm watching a video about balls on water

  • Grant Merle

    Grant Merle

    3 hours ago

    who knew birds like water? ;)

  • George Oh well

    George Oh well

    3 hours ago

    $32,000,000 there just for the balls

  • George Oh well

    George Oh well

    3 hours ago

    Think she fancies him ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  • anon ymous

    anon ymous

    3 hours ago

    3:15 holy crap, it's Dr. Steve from Tim and Erik

  • The Canada First Party

    The Canada First Party

    3 hours ago

    BLACK Heats up in sunlight , white is reflective and cooler ; IN A BLUE STATE I would not trust the Government today .

  • torod213

    torod213

    4 minutes ago

    I love youtube comments

  • Kendra T

    Kendra T

    3 hours ago

    Oh hey. It's Shadesmar!

  • saurav basu

    saurav basu

    3 hours ago

    If you fall into that reservoir, you cannot even swim. NIGHTMARE

  • torod213

    torod213

    4 minutes ago

    Yeah, hence why they gave him the life vest.. Problem solved.

  • marcia menage

    marcia menage

    3 hours ago

    Looks like a lot of "Ballshit"

  • marcia menage

    marcia menage

    3 hours ago

    Looks like a lot of "Ballshit"

  • Yorzen Gaming

    Yorzen Gaming

    3 hours ago

    A good friend - bro Relative - mate SUPER BEST FRIEND - BROMATE

  • Christopher Walker

    Christopher Walker

    3 hours ago

    That man's got BALLS! 😂

  • James Hannigan

    James Hannigan

    3 hours ago

    They used to put bromide in your tea in prisons years ago to nullify mens sexual urges.. Depopulation or birth control??. The birds don't land there no more?. Animals are not stupid and have built in fail safe mechanisms.... If animals stay away then there is something poisonous in them...

  • torod213

    torod213

    3 minutes ago

    You just stepped up the retard game here big time fella.

  • Shashank D

    Shashank D

    3 hours ago

    Check this out @sashagrey

  • Gefrin64

    Gefrin64

    3 hours ago

    Who’s watching at this after his explanation of how does this video get viral ?

  • denis jakopovic

    denis jakopovic

    3 hours ago

    I feel like the views are trying to rise to the challenge. Views vs. balls. Who will win?

  • denis jakopovic

    denis jakopovic

    3 hours ago

    I wonder if this video (and USdownload) will last long enough for the views to actually surpass the balls :D

  • Get To Da Choppa

    Get To Da Choppa

    3 hours ago

    Veritasium: Its very rare for you to see 96 million of anything. Me: Well uh yeah, there's like other things where there's a large number of so it's not that rare so I will come up with something funny to say later when I think of something that is not that rare and a there is a large amount of.

  • BurnestThe4th

    BurnestThe4th

    3 hours ago

    Why not filter the water on its way out of the reservoir?

  • Fewdz

    Fewdz

    4 hours ago

    5:50 you see the bird go into the turbine of the plane?

  • Jason

    Jason

    4 hours ago

    Very interesting idea and sounds like it works, and has longevity.

  • Biszaal Tech

    Biszaal Tech

    4 hours ago

    Is it just me or do you also think his thumbnail looks clickbaity like Mr. Beast’s video.

  • Akmal Danial

    Akmal Danial

    39 minutes ago

    Watch his video on how this video went viral. He talks about it there.

  • Jim Oyster

    Jim Oyster

    4 hours ago

    Why the fuk do you have a boat floating atop my drinking water? Fuk the balls!

  • Darren Ong

    Darren Ong

    4 hours ago

    Each ball represents a subscriber of pewdiepie

  • InstaltechCarAudio

    InstaltechCarAudio

    4 hours ago

    $32,000,000 on plastic balls 🎱

  • Mushroom378

    Mushroom378

    4 hours ago

    "It's rare to see 96 million of anything" Atoms:

  • InstaltechCarAudio

    InstaltechCarAudio

    4 hours ago

    Someone just won the USdownload lottery

  • Minamino Suechi

    Minamino Suechi

    4 hours ago

    they also said that the birds stopped showing up .. so basically the natural habitat is being screwd up for yet another human need :/

  • Walk High

    Walk High

    4 hours ago

    what about aquatic life who depends on sunlight?

  • parth acharya

    parth acharya

    4 hours ago

    OK !! youtube now i have seen it ..

  • MPSecare

    MPSecare

    4 hours ago

    "alright who's the comedian with the two black balls"

  • Abinash Pal

    Abinash Pal

    5 hours ago

    Why there is resorvior in 1st place, why can't the water being delivered directly from the purifying plants....

  • Michaellogy

    Michaellogy

    5 hours ago

    the thumbnail reminds me of robert downey jr

  • MedSou

    MedSou

    5 hours ago

    *Oddly Satisfying* ❤❤❤

  • Cichlid_Visuals

    Cichlid_Visuals

    5 hours ago

    food grade plastic huh? testosterone reducing contaminant, definitely affecting the la population as evidence of booming gay and trans population. do some research if you dont believe me.

  • Ben Lawrence

    Ben Lawrence

    5 hours ago

    Good luck finding a dead body in that reservoir with all those black ball.

  • PissyAssassin

    PissyAssassin

    5 hours ago

    “Why are they black?”

  • PissyAssassin

    PissyAssassin

    5 hours ago

    Why does this have 29 million views???

  • Goldberg Shekelstein

    Goldberg Shekelstein

    5 hours ago

    I feel like I'm having a Mandela effect right now; Does anyone remember watching a Veritasium video SPECIFICALLY on this subject like a couple of years ago? And yet this one was posted a week ago?

  • Carl Louie Garcia

    Carl Louie Garcia

    5 hours ago

    Stupid bird

  • Hoyt Ridge

    Hoyt Ridge

    5 hours ago

    nature: poisons human's water humanity: produces more plastic

  • System overlord

    System overlord

    5 hours ago

    The city guy explaining the process is lying about not using chlorine because the water still smells like it

  • fowlancer85

    fowlancer85

    5 hours ago

    Video starts with "These are shaved balls"

  • Samuel Guevara

    Samuel Guevara

    5 hours ago

    i like crystal geyser

  • GreenOnionBrother

    GreenOnionBrother

    5 hours ago

    I love how excited they all are to talk about this.

  • Pickle Dill

    Pickle Dill

    5 hours ago

    Lol just put a bit of gas and oil in the water

  • 전기장판tv

    전기장판tv

    5 hours ago

    먼데이거

  • Usman Ali

    Usman Ali

    5 hours ago

    If they a fly a helicopter over these they will spread out evenly. Just saying..

  • Darryl Goben

    Darryl Goben

    5 hours ago

    Sunlight plastic water sounds like a bad combination

  • Jimbo A

    Jimbo A

    6 hours ago

    This is such bullcrap, Beer companies have major water filters. This is just another guuuuuuuuberment SCAM, TO STEAL " LAUNDER " Tax payers money.

  • dualtrax

    dualtrax

    6 hours ago

    don'T call me bro, mate

  • Bert Mack

    Bert Mack

    6 hours ago

    Where did I miss the part about using a gas powered boat on a drinking water reservoir being okay? There must be some further treatment downstream from here...

  • GetReady4LiftOff

    GetReady4LiftOff

    6 hours ago

    You think they would tell if deadly?? Haha.

  • GetReady4LiftOff

    GetReady4LiftOff

    6 hours ago

    This has to effect drinking water. CommunistChina owns Calif basically, BioTech, LATines, Vaccine Co., & wants the LAPort! owns the mayors.

  • glitch gamer

    glitch gamer

    6 hours ago

    Cool

  • F!@#Guilt

    F!@#Guilt

    6 hours ago

    My favorite part was the bird getting sucked through the jet engine. FUN!!

  • Norla Vine

    Norla Vine

    6 hours ago

    This video is worth 29,178,584 views.....x

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