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Top 10 Crazy YouTube Channels Where People Risk Their Lives

by Arnaldo Filho
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Since YouTube was founded (15 years ago, yes we are that old), it has been known as an experimental space. YouTubers are just people that upload their crazy ideas for the world to see. More recently, with some of YouTube’s updated policies, the amount of crazy content seems to be decreasing. Here a list of channels where the creators defy conformity to continue to push the boundaries of originality…. and good sense. These guys really risk their lives for the views.

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10Hot Ones
Spicy food, 8.16 million subscribers

Will Ferrell Deeply Regrets Eating Spicy Wings | Hot Ones

Let’s start our list with a very popular entry. In his channel “First We Feast”, host Sean Evans interviews celebrities while they attempt to eat chicken wings covered in spicy sauces. The wings get increasingly hot as the rounds go on. Not every artist enjoys (or is able to handle) spicy food. Hilarity ensues.

This is arguably the most lighthearted and popular channel on this list. Spicy food is appreciated by many people. However, the consequences of consuming some species of chilies can be quite grim. Capsaicin, the main bio-active compound in chili peppers, can cause severe symptoms in the human body. These symptoms include: stomach aches, vomiting and diarrhea.[1] These symptoms are often seen on the show, including the diarrhea part (we are looking at you Bobby Lee).[2]

Furthermore, a man has reportedly passed away in 2019 in the UK. He consumed a fish cake, that was so hot that burned his throat and caused him to asphyxiate to death.[3]

9Furious Pete
Competitive eating, 5.15 million subscribers

Biggest, Best and Most Famous Eats in America (NYC, Vegas & LA) | Furious Pete World Tour

Competitive eating has been around since long before YouTube was founded. It is not a surprise that this practice was adopted by people seeking likes on the internet. Peter Czerwinski holds several Guinness World Records[4] in competitive eating, an achievement he was able to transform into a successful YouTube career. I myself cannot watch people eating without getting hungry myself.

Most notably, he can be seen in his channel eating a pizza of the size of a dinner table and an 11 lb jar of Nutella in one go! However, eating challenges are not only fun and games. Some contests can be quite nasty even to watch. Check out our 10 Unappetising Facts About Eating Contests list. It goes without saying the risks involved in overeating. To name only a few, it can lead to obesity, diabetes and coronary heart disease.[5] Even more concerning, this year a woman died in Australia while participating in an eating contest, after consuming a large number of lamingtons, a traditional Australian cake that is nearly as delicious as New Zealand’s pavlova!

8Mustang Wanted
Altitude stunts, 295 thousand subscribers

CLIMBING on the bridge Le Havre

As a random subscriber commented on one of his videos: “This guys has balls made of diamonds”. Do you remember those high altitude videos that were going viral a while back? Those scary videos where Russian kids would hang from tall buildings (with no safety gear at all) risking falling to their deaths? Well, Pavlo Gennadiyovich Ushivets, made his YouTube channel about ignoring all the instincts that evolution taught us over the past 200,000 years.[5]

It’s silly to explain how falling from the top of the1,356 ft tall Princess Tower of Dubai[6] would be detrimental to your health. That does not seem to scare Pavlo, as the Princess Tower is only one of the buildings you can see him dangling from without any equipment. In our society where people die while taking selfies, Pavlo certainly stands out from the rest.

Mixed Martial Arts, 1.39 million subscribers

In its early days, YouTube was mostly about cat videos . . . and people fighting. The OG’s of the internet may remember Kimbo Slice, the king of backyard brawls, who unfortunately passed away in 2016.[7] In those days, you could barely see any blood due to the low definition of the cameras around.

In these days, MMA fighting is still a popular genre on YouTube. No doubt the fighting looks even gorier in high definition. The channel StreetBeefs is one of the most successful amateur fighting organizers to grace the platform. The videos do not shy away from showing two young lads slugging it out. Even though deaths are relatively rare in MMA bouts and have never occurred with StreetBeefs, in 2019 at least 15 casualties were reported as resulting from competitions like these.[8]

Inhaling things, 2.52 million subscribers

Fastest Time To Drink 6 Beers Through Your Nose | L.A. BEAST

This one is easily one of the weirdest entries on our list. We are all aware that alcohol must be consumed responsibly. However, when we think “consume”, the word “drink” comes to mind, rather than the word “inhale”. Kevin Thomas Strahle, also a competitive eater, decided to get a “competitive” edge, attracting views by inhaling stuff. That includes, alcohol, soda and other fizzy drinks.

On his latest videos, he has been vocal about YouTube limiting exposure on his videos, labelling them as non-advertiser friendly. This time we must side with YouTube’s decision, due to the fact that this is a very unhealthy activity. Additionally to all the usual undesirable side effects of ingesting alcohol by drinking, inhaling has other problems: The practice is known to increase the chance of overdose, damaging the lungs and cause addiction.[9] Furthermore, it seems that he is in severe pain while doing it. Generally, Kevin’s channel is basically about ingesting anything weird – including eating a whole cactus and drinking a 20 year old bottle of Crystal Pepsi (the video of which includes a serious vomiting warning).

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Motorcycling, 8.61 thousand subscribers

Yamaha R1 Top Speed Run at the Autobahn (Germany)

The adrenaline rush you get by riding a motorcycle is something that is quite unique. Even a religious experience to some. That being said, the top speed that most people will ever experience while riding a bike is not likely to exceed the 80 mph (about 120 km/h). Maybe slightly more than that if you are a bit of a daredevil. There are reasons for speed limits. No safety precautions can save you from a high speed crash, especially while on a motorcycle.

However, YouTuber PaulsGear (his name seems to be somewhat of a secret) can be seen on his channel driving at an astounding speed of 186 mph (or about 300 km/h). Admittedly, that can only be achieved (within the confines of the law) at an autobahn, access highways in Germany that have sections with no speed limit.[10] This mysterious character of PaulsGear often hides his face by wearing a bike helmet. It is unlikely, however, that the helmet would save his life in the event of a crash at his preferred speed.

Marine diving, 632 thousand subscribers


Most people believe that space is final frontier. Well, be surprised to know that it’s not the only final frontier. About 5% of our oceans have been explored and charted,[11] kind of embarrassing given that our planet is about 70% water. In order to fix that and educate us, marine biologist Jonathan Bird created his channel, focused on sea exploration. In his videos, he can be seen swimming with several species of sharks, see snakes and octopuses.

On top of the marine life, other dangers are associated with scuba diving, such as drowning (obviously), decompression sickness and arterial air embolism.[12] The last one happens to a diver when bubbles form in an artery on ascent and block his blood-flow or. Basically, your blood boiling in your veins. Jonathan is an experienced diver and is very mindful about safety, but a regular person should avoid facing the ocean like he does.

3Göran Winblad
Ultra marathon, 3.1 thousand subscribers


Can you run a 5K (3.1 miles)? Good for you! How about a 10K (5.2 miles)? That’s even better, but only about a quarter of the distance of a marathon, which is 42.2 km (26.2 miles). It takes a very physically fit person to run a marathon and still requires months’ worth of preparation. Some people take running to a whole other level, by becoming ultramarathon runners. For a ultramarathon runner, 50K (31 miles) are common place, and some races can stretch up to 100 miles.[13] Regardless of the benefits of running, the human body is not designed to go that far.

The health impacts of running that much, with no breaks, include nausea and/or vomiting, damaging your organs and immune system.[13] Scientists have actually determined running a ultramarathon to be an health-damaging, rather than beneficial.[14]

Taking drugs, 1.03 million subscribers

Nellie celebrates a white Christmas with cocaine | Drugslab

Ah the Netherlands. As you may know, the drug policy is a bit looser there than in most countries (we are getting increasingly into controversial territory).[15] In their channel, Nellie Benner, Rens Polman and Bastiaan Rosman try a lot of different kinds of drugs. The substances include (but are not limited to) marihuana, cocaine, ecstasy, speed and LSD. All three are fairly young and attractive. While intoxicated, they do all sorts of activities that range from entertaining to insane.

One would think that censorship would be all over this channel right? Not in Holland. The whole thing is sponsored by BNNVARA,[16] a Dutch public broadcaster, in an effort to draw attention to drug abuse and responsible consumption. Their heart rates and body temperatures are monitored for safety purposes. Regardless of any precautions taken, drug consumption can always lead to overdosing.

1Brave Wilderness
Stings and bites, 15.6 million subscribers


Finally our number 1! Getting people interested in science and nature is no easy task. A field trip goes a long way, but few people (if anybody) are willing to go to the extremes that Nathaniel “Coyote” Peterson, a wildlife educator, went to draw attention his cause. You see, getting bitten or stung by a bug can be such a harrowing experience that the Schmidt sting pain index[17] was developed to put a number to a feeling that words don’t do quite justice.

Only a madman would subject himself to that voluntarily, right? Well, on his channel, Coyote was stung by pretty much every animal that he could get his hands on. In fact, he was already stung by four animals that made our own list of the Top 10 Most Horrifyingly Painful Venoms.

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fact checked by Jamie Frater