Unboxing videos -- or, clips of people opening toys -- occupy a lucrative corner of the internet. Yes, really.
Though some users hate the family-friendly uploads with a passion ("the cancer of YouTube!"), astronomical view counts tell a story of addiction and vicarious thrills. What's the appeal? As a psychologist explained to mental_floss, "the human brain is wired to be curious," and these types of vids often blend surprise with a child's wildest obsessions. "[Children] absolutely watch the videos of adults playing with toys more than the media the toys are drawn from," one parent told Select All. "We had to convince [our kids] to watch Big Hero 6 after seeing the toys all over the YouTube feed." Some vids even attract more eyeballs than Sesame Street. No wonder analysts are calling them the future of toy commercials.
In a nod to this mesmerizing and peculiar practice, we've collected some of YouTube's most-watched unboxing gems (along with their insanely high view counts). Enjoy?