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From Baby Shark and CoComelon Nursery Rhymes, to Luis Fonsi’s Despacito and Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, these are the videos that keep us all, for whatever reason, coming back for more. Here is a look at the 10 most watched YouTube videos of all time. 

It’s hard to believe that YouTube has only been around since 2005. Following those early days of the internet, when videos were often massive, slow-to-load files on-site backends and peer-to-peer file-sharing networks like LimeWire and Kazaa (remember those?), the world’s second most-visited website (after parent company Google, of course) changed the way we find, and share, and even make videos forever.

Celebrities have been made, and unmade, through YouTube fame alone, and numerous videos from the platform have permanently etched themselves into pop culture history, bridging borders, cultures, and languages — who doesn’t remember “Charlie Bit Me” or the earworm chorus of “Gangnam Style”?

According to YouTube, the site’s billion-plus monthly users collectively view over one billion hours of video each day. That’s a lot of video. And fresh off Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark Dance” recently becoming the first video to break the 10 billion mark, as of January 2022, these 10 have the most views of any on the platform.

10 most watched YouTube videos of all time with highest views

1. “Baby Shark Dance” by Pinkfong Baby Shark – Kids’ Songs & Stories

Views: 11.7 billion

If you made it out of the past decade without once hearing this song or its get-stuck-in-your-brain-at-3:00 am hook, we salute you. Those who have kids, and even those who don’t, know Baby Shark. The version of the song that most of us know is produced by Pinkfong, which is a part of the South Korean entertainment company SmartStudy. It surpassed “Despacito” to become the most-viewed video in 2020, four years after its original release, and on 13 January 2022, it became the first YouTube video to pass 10 billion views, so get used to it. It’ll be around for a while. Do do, do-do-do-do.

2. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi (feat. Daddy Yankee)

Views: 7.7 billion

Despite having its own Bieber remix, it’s Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Bieber-less original that long held the most-watch video on Youtube crown (before being unseated by “Baby Shark Dance”). The 2017 record become a global hit and continues to be one the biggest pop songs worldwide. It’s safe to say YouTube has played a huge part in that success.

3. “Johny Johny Yes Papa” by LooLoo Kids

Views: 6.1 billion

It gets weird now, so buckle in. “Johny Johny Yes Papa”, a song that turns the familiar “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” melody into a tale of sugar consumption and familial deception was destined for the meme treatment, which it got in spades in 2018 across Twitter and throughout YouTube. An Indian YouTube channel called “Billion Surprise Toys” went for full virality, incorporating “Gangnam Style” dance moves and references to the aforementioned “Baby Shark”. It’s been described as “disturbing” and “nonsensical”, and that’s all we have to say about that.

4. “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran

Views: 5.6 billion

Ah, Ed Sheeran – at least this one makes sense. From the singer’s 2017 album, Divide, this track’s a hit wherever it’s played, and Sheeran’s grasp on social media makes it no surprise that he’d do numbers on YouTube as well. Fun fact: “Thinking Out Loud” and “Perfect” also rank among YouTube’s top 30 most viewed videos, at #18 and #28, respectively.

5. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa (feat. Charlie Puth)

Views: 5.3 billion

Fans of the Fast and the Furious franchise are all too familiar with “See You Again,” the touching track from Furious 7 and tribute to the film’s late star, Paul Walker. Pairing Charlie Puth’s emotional piano and vocals with Wiz’s rapping and reflection on moments throughout the series in each verse, it’s a hit formula with a heartwarming message.

6. “Bath Song” by CoComelon Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs

Views: 4.9 billion

In more evidence that kids probably have too much access to the internet at a young age, “Bath Song” flips a couple of tracks — namely, “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and, of course, “Baby Shark Dance” (Washmy arms doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo) — to the tune of nearly five billion views. It’s a song about hygiene, which is a great message, but there’s still some kind of uncanny valley creepiness here that we just can’t ignore.

7. “Learning Colors – Colorful Eggs on a Farm” by Miroshka TV

Views: 4.5 billion

Oh, look: It’s another creepy video for children. Set to the classic bop, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”, Russia’s Miroshka TV teaches kids about six essential (?) colours: black, brown, pink, white, red and blue, by way of little egg men splitting their heads open to be filled with goo. Just your normal stuff. Why does the fourth egg look sinister? Anyway, next.

8. “Phonics Song with TWO Words” by ChuChuTV Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs

Views: 4.5 billion

Was the internet a bad idea? Maybe. If you needed more proof, look no further than the next entry on the most watched videos on Youtube list, Masha and The Bear. And don’t take my word for it, you can read here why Russian psychologists consider the animated series among the “most harmful” for children’s minds. Fun stuff, right? Anyway, in this video, with 4.5 billion views, a hyperactive girl named Masha ruins a bunch of stuff for her bear companion, no lessons are learned, and everything turns out fine in the end. Fingers crossed that we will be, too.

9. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars)

Views: 4.5 billion

And just like that, we’re back to the jams: It’s Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ unmistakable hit, “Uptown Funk”. The infections earworm took home Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 58th Grammy Awards, and more than anything, we’re happy to see it break up the total madness of the other entries on this list.

10.“Gangnam Style” by Psy

Views: 4.5 billion

We made it to the end. Was the internet a bad idea? Maybe! Rounding out the most-viewed YouTube videos list, it’s Gangnam Style, the iconic South Korean tune that catapulted artist Psy to global fame in 2012. Spawning dozens of remixes at festivals and clubs, this quirky chart topper had all of us grooving for a better part of the last decade. Give it another watch for old times’ sake?

Hero and featured image credit: Cardmapr/Unsplash

This article was first published on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.