Viral videos of the week: viral songwriting, an Anchorman act and a Christmas miracle

15 Dec 2013

Still from 'WestJet Christmas Miracle: real-time giving' by WestJet via YouTube

We take a look at some of the most-viewed and most-shared videos on the web. This week features PewDiePie tackling the impossible, viral songwriting secrets, Dublin students’ take on Anchorman, a spot of pareidolia and a Christmas treat from WestJet Airlines.

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.

This week, YouTube gave us a retrospective view of 2013 with YouTube Rewind and a video that has already seen over 25m views. Here, we take a look at some other new viral videos to  have caught our eye this week.

WestJet Christmas miracle

Over 250 passengers on two recent flights to Calgary, Canada were given the opportunity to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas as they waited to board. Little did they know that this brief discussion would lead to a scattering of WestJet Airlines ‘elves’ dashing around to fulfil their wishes, culminating in a magical surprise at the luggage carousel. The Scrooges amongst us will write this off as nothing more than a clever marketing stunt by the Canadian low-fares airline, but even the most humbug of hearts can’t help but melt a little at this well-orchestrated Christmas ‘miracle’.


Uploaded: 8 December 2013

Anchorman: DCUtv vs TrinityTV

Promotion for Anchorman 2, which hits Irish cinemas on 20 December, is already rampant on YouTube, with Will Ferrell turning up as Ron Burgundy to comment on everything from Love/Hate to The Late Late Toy Show to our Taoiseach ‘Edna’ Kenny. But this week’s best take on Ron Burguny and co comes from students at Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin, who’ve made an Irish-ised version of a memorable scene from Anchorman drawing on the Dublin colleges’ age-old rivalry.


Uploaded: 5 December

Viral song

Toby Turner, AKA Tobuscus, has cracked the recipe for a viral song and shares it with all and sundry in this animated video. It has everything: cats, babies, puppies, and an educational twist. Plus you’ll be singing it for the rest of the week. Enjoy!


Uploaded: 3 December 2013

The Impossible Quiz

YouTuber PewDiePie has one of the most-subscribed channels on the video network and, typically, his videos involve him commenting and reacting to video games as he plays them. A number of fans suggested he play The Impossible Quiz, a frustrating internet sensation that has been doing the rounds for years now. Over 5m viewers have tuned in to watch Pewds struggle through the quiz, and anyone who’s tried it themselves can surely sympathise with the Swedish obscenities shouted at the screen. We’ve been there, bro.  


Uploaded: 7 December 2013

The talking boat

When you see a face on an object, what you are experiencing is a psychological phenomenon called pareidolia. Ruminate on that while you watch this delightfully funny short clip. For science!


Uploaded: 6 December 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.