The Scientific Reason Why'Oddly Satisfying' Videos Are So Popular

Though YouTube is the go-to source for oddly satisfying videos, they’re, in fact, everywhere where media can be hosted. As The New York Times notes, they’re found on Instagram, as well, and they also abound on Facebook, but that’s just as it relates to social media. In fact, the genre, in its online form at least, actually got started not on social media, but on a subreddit message board r/oddlysatisfying in 2013, according to The Guardian. The forum allowed, and allows, users to post photos and videos of situations that, for whatever reason, inform some sort of satisfaction in the viewer. As of June 2022, it has over 7.1 million subscribers.

A few years later, in 2016, the “oddly satisfying” video phenomenon exploded, according to The New York Times, for reasons that remain unclear, although writer Emily Matchar notes that it was in that same year that she found herself inexplicably drawn to the genre. “It was 2016 when I discovered Oddly Satisfying, and I needed a little brain massage … Awake at 2 a.m., jiggling the baby, I’d tap open my phone, glance at the headlines and immediately hide it under my pillow. Oddly Satisfying was one of the few corners of the internet that didn’t make me want to cry and never stop,” she wrote.