Viral videos of the week: Banksy, life hacks, telekinesis and death-defying ping pong

13 Oct 2013

Still from 'S01E07 Miss Ping (Tumba Ping Pong Show)' by Tumba Ping Pong Show on YouTube

We take a look at some of the most-viewed and most-shared videos on the web. This week features musical rip-offs, Guillermo del Toro’s take on The Simpsons, some telekinetic trickery, Banksy’s rebel rocket attack, life hacks debunked, and a risky game of table tennis.

About 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, 500 years of video watched on Facebook every day, and more than 700 YouTube videos shared on Twitter each minute, ensuring there is always video trending on the web.

With so much video available for viewing, we take a look at some of the viral videos that have caught our eye this week.

Telekinetic coffee shop surprise

Promoters of upcoming horror remake Carrie staged a ‘telekinetic event’ at a New York City coffee shop. With a stunt man, a fake wall, rigged furniture and actors in place, some unexpected punters got a shocking surprise with their morning cuppa. Just uploaded this week, the video is already at over 33m views – helped in no small way by being the most shared video on social networks.


Uploaded: 7 October 2013

Guillermo del Toro’s Simpsons couch gag

Two staples of long-running animated comedy The Simpsons are the opening couch gag and the Halloween-themed ‘Treehouse of Horror’ episodes. For ‘Treehouse of Horror XXIV’, ‘Bat’ Groening and co enlisted the help of imaginative dark fantasy director Guillermo del Toro in directing the opening sequence with film, TV and literary referencs galore. This clip has seen almost 15m views as YouTube users try to spot them all.


Uploaded: 3 October 2013

Rebel rocket attack

Graffiti artist Banksy has moved far beyond decorating the walls of Bristol and London with political statements and has now taken up an artist’s residency on the streets of New York. It’s not all about street art anymore, though, and Banksy has created a dedicated YouTube account for this month-long spectacle. True to the style of the subversive artist, all is not what it seems with his first upload of a ‘rebel rocket attack’.


Uploaded: 6 October 2013

Tumba Ping Pong Show

This webisode comes as part of a series from mysterious stunt table tennis crew Tumba Ping Pong. They seem to have come over a bit Fruit Ninja in this act performed by Slightly Mad Max and DJ Coolman, with special guest star Miss Ping. Though uploaded last month, the video has been getting a lot of attention this week following a series of articles debating the authenticity of the stunt. Real or not, we’ll leave viewers with this warning: do not attempt playing ping pong with butcher’s knives at home.


Uploaded: 20 September 2013

30 life hacks debunked

‘Life hack’ is the term used to describe little tricks people have devised to make life that little bit easier, and many of them have been shared online – but not everyone has the time try each one out to see how they fare in real life. To save your some time, Mental Floss’s John Green gives 30 a try, and while some work superbly, others fail spectacularly.


Uploaded: 9 October 2013

Songs that were ripped off in one minute

Ever heard a new pop song and thought, ‘That sounds awfully familiar’? In this musical one-minute mash-up, YouTuber Chad Neidt demonstrates why, playing strikingly similar songs simultaneously through the magic of video ‘cloning’.


Uploaded: 7 October 2013

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.