Finding What’s ‘Oddly Satisfying’ on the Internet" aims to describe a curious niche of videos that human beings find satisfying for as yet unexplained reasons.
As the author explains: "These videos are compilations of physical objects being manipulated in certain highly specific ways: melted, smoothed, extruded, carved, sliced, dissolved. Frosting piped fluidly over a layer cake. Molten glass slowly ballooning from the tip of a blowpipe. Crayon wax swirling in a factory vat, propelled by the rhythmic swoosh of a giant paddle."
A few examples below.
I hated the music in this one, and prefer to watch it muted.
This one provoked more revulsion than satisfaction:
Here is a compilation of objects being crushed in a hydraulic press. Loved it.
These kinds of videos typically have hundreds of thousands, nay, millions of views - which begs these questions:
What is the evolutionary reason for this commonality of satisfaction?
Is understanding why these videos are appealing trivial or important to understanding mankind?
Is the evoked satisfaction exclusive to 21st century humans?
There is no question that watching the icing video relaxes and puts me to sleep in a matter of minutes and it's a lot safer than popping an Ambien.
And I seem to have vivid, happy memories of extruding Play-Doh from my childhood.
Well guess what? There are many videos of grown ups "demonstrating" vintage and recent Play Doh kits. Here is one with over 8 million views:
It's a mystery.