From PewDiePie to Philip DeFranco, YouTube channels can be an endless source of entertainment during downtime. However, few realize that the website has just as many great sources of education available.

If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge a bit, this week’s installment of The List covers some of our favorite YouTube channels. Whether you’re looking for deep knowledge or interesting trivia, here are five channels to watch next time you’re on the ‘tube. Best of all, most of these channels consist of videos under 20 minutes, making it easy to catch a few on your morning commute.

For Weird True-Life Tales: Atrocity Guide

One of the newer channels on this list, the Atrocity Guide is easily one of the most niche channels on this list, but it’s also likely the best conversation starter at your next dinner party. The Atrocity Guide covers relatively unknown stories from across the internet, shedding light on unusual crimes, mysterious and often murderous cults, and other weird tales. Despite having only about a dozen episodes up, it’s already gained a following thanks to the channel’s professional and well-researched 

For Science: Kurzgesagt

Meaning “in a nutshell” in German, Kurzgesagt does exactly what it promises and summarizes complex science topics in a nutshell. Videos can include anything from astronomy to food science, but what Kurzgesagt is really known for is its colorful animations. Philosophical and psychological subjects, such as basic income, optimistic nihilism and loneliness, are also covered in this channel, and best of all, most of the videos are under 10 minutes.

For Music: Adam Neely

Learning to play an instrument can be a years-long process, with decades of practice necessary before true mastery can be achieved. Luckily, music theory doesn’t have to be so complicated. Adam Neely, a New York City-based bass player and composer, releases new videos with both advice for musicians and theory for music-lovers every Monday. Some concepts can be a bit tough to grasp, but Neely has a unique skill in breaking down complicated ideas for amature listeners.

For Math: Numberphile

Numberphile, on the other hand, is definitely not a channel for anti-intellectuals. Beloved by math professors and number nerds alike, host Brady Haran talks to university professors about some of the biggest ideas in mathematics. In particular, many of Numberphile’s most highly rated episodes revolve around number problems. Unlike those faced in grade school, these have little to do with how many watermelons can fit in your trunk, and more about concepts such as extremely high numbers, and difficult operations.

For Paleontology: PBS Eons

Although most of the channels on this list are created by individuals or small teams, PBS Eons’ larger production team has put together a series too good to pass up. Eons covers the millions of years of animal life, with special attention paid to dinosaurs and how modern animals came to be. Hosts Hank Green, Kallie Moore, and Blake de Pastino are experts in not just talking about the complex history of life on Earth, but also in making it genuinely fun to listen to.


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