YouTube’s annual list of the year’s top viral videos is out, revealing just how much people love to spend time watching outrageous and arguably useless stuff online. The video streaming site’s list of the top 10 trending videos of 2013 runs the gamut from a military-style Harlem Shake to awkward guys pretending to eat like animals to Miley Cyrus’ infamous naked ride on a wrecking ball.
At the end of the year, YouTube invites some of the site’s biggest stars to take part in a mash-up video that highlights the year’s most popular moments. YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say? captures the year’s most memorable moments by bringing together people like the prancersize lady, the Detroit boy who challenged an usher in a dance-off at a Pistons game, Jimmy Kimmel and several other viral celebrities whom you’ve most likely seen at some point this year.
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Taking the top spot for YouTube’s trending videos of 2013 is “ Ylvis -- The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” The video originated as a promotion for a late-night talk show in Norway, hosted by brothers Vegard and Bard Ylvisaker, and as of December 11, the accidental hit had 276,728,403 views on YouTube. The idea came from what the comedic duo -- known as Ylvis -- has called a genuine wonder: What sound does a fox actually make? A cat says “meow,” a cow says “moo,” but what does a fox say? And what began as a joke became a worldwide phenomenon, leading to the brothers appearing on popular American late-night shows.
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Also on the top trending list is a Harlem Shake video featuring a very unlikely group -- members of the Norwegian army. A lot of Harlem Shake videos have gone viral, but something about a group of soldiers doing this ridiculous dance (can you call it a dance?) is much funnier than the same old random bored people in an office somewhere. Since being posted in February, the video has been viewed 95,391,841 times on YouTube.
This year’s top music video goes to South Korean star Psy for the second year in a row. This year’s “Gentleman” music video racked up 599,234,524 views, and it’s just as bizarre -- and addicting -- as the 2012 video that brought the pop singer to the world stage, “ Gangnam Style” (which now has 1,845,104,849 views).
And of course, Miley Cryus’ “ Wrecking Ball” video captured the world’s attention just after the pop star twerked her way out of every parent’s heart during her performance with Robin Thicke at MTV's annual Video Music Awards.