Astronaut.io is a website that provides a virtually endless stream of random YouTube videos from around the world. But rather than a simple sequential mashup, the stream looks specifically for videos that exist on the border between mundane and interesting.
As Wired points out, and algorithm searches for videos that have been uploaded within the past week, have zero views, and use generic file names. The criteria yields a collection of videos people thought memorable enough to store on YouTube, but not so important as to be given a name.
The videos framed against a background video of the International Space Station orbiting Earth, and switch every few seconds (though you can lock onto a video or click through to watch the full thing). That, along with the casual nature of the content, aims to help you feel a little more in tune with the rest humanity:
Today, you are an Astronaut. You are floating in inner space 100 miles above the surface of Earth. You peer through your window and this is what you see. You are people watching. These are fleeting moments.
Sometimes the videos are plain. Sometimes they’re beautiful.
In the span of a few minutes I saw a baby playing in her rocking chair, a wrestling match, a litter of puppies, a webcam video of a stunning singer, a car’s broken hazard light, a heart-breaking story of a kid who lost his home, a fish swimming in a tank, an impressive sparring session with swords, and much more.
The result is a simple but poignant collage of people throughout world. And there’s something about seeing so many people going happily about there days, displaying different interests and similar joys, that gives you that warm and fuzzy “we’re all connected” vibe.
It’s a nice feeling.