There are some things - popping bubble wrap, to use a classic example, or rolling marbles down a granite countertop - that are eminently satisfying in a way that's impossible to describe. Something about actions or processes that are simultaneously incredibly precise, and complete, makes them mesmerizing to watch.
These five videos are guaranteed to satisfy in precisely such a way.
1. Master ceramics artists at work
There's something soul-satisfying about this compilation of highly-trained ceramics masters delicately shaping, shaving, and painting impossibly fragile, feather-light works of art.
2. A typewriter being smushed by a hydraulic press
Print is officially dead, it seems: what better way to represent the triumph of the digital age than by watching a typewriter get pulverized with a hydraulic press? You'll be happy to know, as well, that there's an entire YouTube channel devoted to the art of smooshing things with heavy machinery, from diamonds to aluminum foil and gummy bears.
3. Cakes decorated on a pottery wheel
Do you eat this? Is it art? We don't really care. We just want to share this video from the pastry pros at the Quenary Academy forever.
4. Burning steel wool
Fun fact: steel wool is actually mostly iron. And when you fluff up some steel wool, increasing the amount of oxygen available, then light the iron alloy on fire, you get this kind of crazy light show. Additionally, after burning steel wool, you end up with iron oxide - which actually weighs more than the steel wool you originally started with. Trippy in every sense.
5. Cutting through a phone book with a knife
While most knives would fail to make it through the first ten pages, the Shibata Kotetsu by Shibata Knives is equal to slicing effortlessly through the entire directory, sending little paper shavings fluttering to the table like so much confetti. "My knife is actually steel clad with steel," according to the manufacturer's description. "Inside I put SG-2 stainless powder steel. Outside, I have clad it with stainless steel sides. This two-steel combination is easier to sharpen, and it keeps its edge better, and it resists damage better." Whatever they're doing, they're doing it right. All the more amazing? The fact that phonebooks still exist.