Viral videos of the week: Oculus Rift reactions, a bug works out, and Obama plays football with a robot

27 Apr 2014

In this week’s collection of viral videos, one man can’t handle his augmented reality, a bug spends three hours undergoing a personal workout, and US President Barack Obama has the worst game of football in history with a robot.

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.

Man reacts to Oculus Rift

Many of us are familiar with the Oculus Rift headset, the augmented reality device that was recently purchased by Facebook and is seen as the future of totally immersive gaming and perhaps even the way we will engage with the internet in the future.

But in a Russian shopping centre, a man who just wanted to pick up his bread and milk got more than he bargained for after being offered the headset for a demonstration involving riding a virtual roller-coaster.

The technology in its current state is still quite blocky and pixelated, but for this man, the future appears to be a scary, scary place.


Uploaded: 22 April 2014

Bug works out

It’s a bug’s life, but not as we know it. We’re all familiar with the strength of worker ants and their ability to carry items multiple times their own body weight, but this is just showing off.

While this clip is only two minutes long, the person who recorded this strangely mesmerising clip claims the little creature kept this up for two hours solid.

Whether it was actually working out or its brain got taken over by a fitness fanatic parasite, we’ll never know.


Uploaded: 22 April 2014

Obama plays football with a robot

Hardly renowned for its strengths as a ‘soccer’ nation, the US decided to send President Barack Obama himself to take on the might of Japan’s robotics in a simple game of passing a football.

Representing Japan was Honda’s Asimo robot, that has been doing the publicity rounds since it was first launched in 2000. Judging from its ability to pass a ball by taking multiple minutes, it would seem the technology hasn’t evolved quite so much in the space of 14 years.

Seemingly put off by the length of time taken, Obama doesn’t even attempt to pass back to poor Asimo, as it’s possible his processor might explode with such unfathomable computations.


Uploaded: 24 April 2014

Dubai base jump

If you’re a base jumper, the 828-metre high Burj Khalifa building in Dubai is likely to be your Mecca. At least for base jumpers Vince Reffet and Fred Fugen, this was certainly the case as they broke the world record for highest base jump attempt ever recorded, beating the previous record of 672 metres in 2010.

Not for the faint-hearted vertigo sufferers!


Uploaded: 22 April 2014

Blue Angels air display

Continuing the theme of extreme attempts, here’s a first-person view of the Blue Angels air acrobatic team performing a ludicrously close flight formation that looks absolutely terrifying to be a part of, considering they are all flying at speeds of hundreds of kilometres per hour.


Uploaded: 21 April 2014

Homemade cannon

You live in a small rural town in Poland and you’re bored on a sunny day, what do you do? Build a homemade cannon using a rubbish bin and gunpowder, of course.


Uploaded: 20 April 2014

Gin and Juice

Legendary NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has gotten the remix treatment with this mash-up of his version of Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice. Very rarely has a mash-up like this looked so normal.

Uploaded: 24 April 2014

Are the homeless invisible?

On a slightly more serious matter, one of the videos that has been trending this week looks at the problem of homelessness and whether those of us lucky to have a home to go to actually notice the homeless on our streets anymore.

This video created by the New York Rescue Mission certainly brings the message much closer to home for those involved.


Uploaded: 22 April 2014

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic