Do you ever find yourself digging through the weirder parts of YouTube? What if I told you that you could mix that experience with the back-to-back nature of America’s Funniest Home Videos, or the creepy vibe of a David Lynch movie? You just have to take a trip through the world of Astronaut.io.
Astronaut.io is an algorithm that strings together short clips from random YouTube videos and presents them in an endless mesmerizing stream. These videos are only ever a week old and have names like IMG 0007 or DSC 0032—a sign that they’ve been uploaded by someone who doesn’t know how to use YouTube or doesn’t care to change the default name of their videos.
The result is bizarre and slightly unsettling. Astronaut.io features a ton of slice-of-life videos, like people hanging out with their kids, singing at karaoke bars, playing sports, or sitting outside in total silence. There are also a lot of videos of seniors playing guitar, children explaining how video games work, and small businesses showing off carpet-cleaning equipment without any commentary.
I’m not sure how I feel about the Astronaut.io tool. It gives me the heebie-jeebies, and I don’t feel like I’m supposed to be watching most of the videos that I run into. Still, I can’t help but stare and think “just one more clip….”
The Astronaut.io tool doesn’t have any controls. It runs like a train, and you can’t get back to any videos that you missed. But you can press a button to play interesting videos until their actual ending, or click the title of a video to open it in a new tab for later.