Me at the zoo

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This article is about the first YouTube video. For the Chris Crocker documentary, see Me at the Zoo.
Me at the zoo
Full video
Website YouTube
  • April 23, 2005 (2005-04-23)
  • April 23, 2005 (2005-04-23)
Filmed by Yakov Lapitsky
Uploader Jawed Karim
Duration 0:19
Category Film & Animations

Me at the zoo is the first video to have been uploaded to YouTube. It was uploaded at 8:27 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2005 by the site's cofounder Jawed Karim, with the username "jawed" and recorded by his high school friend Yakov Lapitsky.[1][2][3]

He created an account on YouTube the same day.[4]

The nineteen-second video was shot by Yakov Lapitsky at the San Diego Zoo, featuring Karim in front of the elephants, professing his interest in their "really, really, really long trunks".[5][6]

Transcript and caption[edit]

The transcript of the video is this:

Alright, so here we are in front of the, uh, elephants. Uh. The cool thing about these guys is that, is that they have really, really, really long, um, trunks, and that's, that's cool. And that's pretty much all there is to say.

The YouTube Captions text is this:

All right, so here we are in front of the elephants, the cool thing about these guys is that they have really, really, really long trunks, and that's, that's cool. And that's pretty much all there is to say.


The Los Angeles Times explains that "as the first video uploaded to YouTube, it played a pivotal role in fundamentally altering how people consumed media and helped usher in a golden era of the 60-second video."[7] The Observer describes its production quality as "poor".[5] As of December 2015, the video has received more than 27 million views and more than 180,000 comments.[8]


In 2013, the video description was updated in protest of Google+ and two annotations were added to the video.[9]

On the tenth anniversary of YouTube in 2015, the description was changed to "The first video on YouTube. Maybe it's time to go back to the zoo?"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hartley, Matt (February 19, 2010). "Ten of YouTube's most influential videos". Canwest. 
  2. ^ McGuinness, Ross (April 15, 2010). "Elephants to Gaga". Metro. p. 34. IT began with a spectacularly ordinary 19-second clip of man at the zoo, watching some elephants... It has been viewed almost 2million times. 
  3. ^ Meltzer, Tom; Phillips, Sarah (October 23, 2009). "G2: A First Time For Everything". The Guardian (London). p. 14. "Me at the zoo" is a man called Karim's 19-second long report from the elephant enclosure at San Diego zoo... But its historical significance means that it has had well over a million hits so far. 
  4. ^ "jawed - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-04-25. Joined 23 Apr 2005 
  5. ^ a b Hoby, Hermione; Tom Lamont (April 11, 2011). "How YouTube made superstars out of everyday people". The Observer (Kings Place, London, England, UK: Guardian Media Group). ISSN 0029-7712. OCLC 50230244. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2011. A girl in red hotpants helped elect a US president, a British pensioner became everyone's favourite grandad. In just five years, the YouTube website has invented a new kind of celebrity 
  6. ^ Heffernan, Virginia (September 6, 2009). "Uploading the Avant-Garde". The New York Times. Retrieved April 4, 2011. The first video on YouTube was uploaded at 8:27 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2005. It’s called “Me at the Zoo,” and it features the musings of Jawed Karim, one of the site’s founders, as elephants nose around in hay behind him. 
  7. ^ Pham, Alex (May 17, 2010). "YouTube turns 5, can't wait to grow up". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California, USA: Eddy Hartenstein). ISSN 0458-3035. OCLC 3638237. Archived from the original on April 20, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011. Born as a clearinghouse for quick, quirky homemade videos, the site now seeks to add more professional — and profitable — content. 
  8. ^ Karim, Jawed (April 23, 2005). "Me at the zoo". San Diego Zoo, San Diego, California, USA: YouTube. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ Bonanos, Paul (April 23, 2014). Happy Ninth Birthday YouTube: From 'Me at the Zoo' to a Billion Monthly Visits, Billboard (magazine)

External links[edit]