Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?

  • Published on May 10, 2019
  • I took a boat through 96 million black plastic balls on the Los Angeles reservoir to find out why they're there. The first time I heard about shade balls the claim was they reduce evaporation. But it turns out this isn't the reason they were introduced.
    Huge thanks to LADWP for arranging this special tour for me. Next time let's put the GoPro on the submersible!
    The balls are made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) which is less dense than water so they float on the surface of the reservoir even if they break apart. They are 10cm (4 inches) in diameter and contain about 210ml of water. So the main reason they are on the reservoir is to block sunlight from entering the water and triggering a chemical reaction that turns harmless bromide into carcinogenic bromate. This effect occurs with prolonged exposure to bromate so regulators insist that levels be kept below 10 microgram per liter on average over a 12 month period.
    Special thanks to Patreon supporters:
    Donal Botkin, Michael Krugman, Ron Neal, Stan Presolski, Terrance Shepherd, Penward Rhyme and everyone who provided feedback on an early draft of this video.
    Thanks to:
    Las Virgenes Reservoir for footage of initial shade ball dump
    Euro-Matic for bird into jet-engine footage
    Researched and Produced by Casey Rentz
    Animations by Maria Raykova
    Music from epidemicsound.com "Colorful Animation 4" "Seaweed"
    And from Kevin MacLeod "Marty Gots a Plan"
    This is an educational video about the science of water quality.

Comments • 48 258

  • Happ MacDonald
    Happ MacDonald 16 hours ago

    Fall out of boat. Walk on balls? Drown in ballpit from hell?

  • William WAGENER
    William WAGENER 16 hours ago +1

    The Forgotten HERO of tvclip.biz/video/_KIysGzHcuE/video.html OKLAHOMA Bombing... YEAKEY did not live to receive his Reward, BECAUSE he SAW too MUCH and Knew TOO much, about the F.B.I. curious behavior just be for the detonation. Share if you have the guts.

  • Ch1llaxr
    Ch1llaxr 16 hours ago

    So good for water company being really open and showing a great technologies

  • Monopoliz ___
    Monopoliz ___ 17 hours ago

    32 million in plastic

  • Trusty Knave
    Trusty Knave 17 hours ago

    3:21 Suddenly Halo Reach's OST kicks in

  • TheGnasty1560
    TheGnasty1560 17 hours ago

    This is mother Earth trying to rid herself of humans (all plastics leach). Nature is perfect...buying time is what the Federal Reserve does...this is your 1st notice

  • Round Tuit
    Round Tuit 17 hours ago

    So this "dirty" water goes direct to consumers......For them to drink. I thought America would have better water than that

  • Ocean Fal-Cav Rides
    Ocean Fal-Cav Rides 17 hours ago +1

    So there is actually a substance called bro mate... 😂😂

  • W.S. Soap Company
    W.S. Soap Company 17 hours ago

    Balls! Is there anything they can't do? TUBES and BALLS are the best.

  • Gabriel Palazuelos
    Gabriel Palazuelos 17 hours ago


    KITIYA KLANMALEE 17 hours ago

    It’s actually because that the government/ prime minister likes boba tea so they made it look like boba tea

  • MicroMemory
    MicroMemory 17 hours ago

    Hmm. If we cover all the oceans with white food grade balls, it would solve 2 problems: No more unwanted pastic in ocean (because there's no room for it) and no more global warming ( white surface mirrors the radiation back to space) ;)

  • lucianoag999
    lucianoag999 17 hours ago

    What about driving an electric boat on the reservoir?

  • Kevin
    Kevin 18 hours ago

    Dota 2 Player
    "i'm going mid lane : bromid"

  • Jalon Glover
    Jalon Glover 18 hours ago

    Looks like the black balls that stopped Mr. Incredible.

  • Lurid Phaesporia
    Lurid Phaesporia 18 hours ago

    I knew a kid in high school who used to say “shadeballs” all the time

  • B Things
    B Things 18 hours ago

    Only watched this because I saw his video on how this video went viral. I feel like I did that backwards somehow...

  • Ben G
    Ben G 18 hours ago

    I feel like I saw this video 3 years ago for some reason

  • 710 Life
    710 Life 19 hours ago

    Check this out: rootbonus.com/BradenKimmel?section=pre_bind&t=1558592279

  • CreatorChannel
    CreatorChannel 19 hours ago

    Buckyballs is better than donkeyballs.

  • Renaissance Permastead and Apiary

    sunlight disenfects... liars

  • Mike Brouwer
    Mike Brouwer 20 hours ago

    Its NOT to remove sunlight from the water. Its to create shade... Right.

  • mac mckee
    mac mckee 20 hours ago

    Where the hell have you been? This is old news.

  • Christian Villanueva
    Christian Villanueva 21 hour ago

    That airplane is rensponsible for killing the bird😂

  • GarrisonFall
    GarrisonFall 21 hour ago

    I want some for my swimming pool.

  • Alexander Lee
    Alexander Lee 21 hour ago

    are they bpa free?

  • Heavens to Murgatroyd
    Heavens to Murgatroyd 21 hour ago

    So if you were to count one number per second, you would reach a million in 11/2 days. If you were to count to a billion it would be about 33 years. 93 million is fathomable. What's not is this guys ability to try and shock people. Those of us whom have actually worked in engineering find his antics banal. Those of us who actually made America work by producing something are not impressed by a pseudo you tube star. The dead air in each ball is what changes the radiant dynamic. If you really want to impress us, cure cancer....punk........

  • doccpu7
    doccpu7 21 hour ago

    you chlorinate the water before you put it in an open air resevoir? yuck. evap and other probs.

  • Jorge Yepez
    Jorge Yepez 21 hour ago

    3:06 thank me later

  • MyTwoCents
    MyTwoCents 21 hour ago

    Why are there 96,000,000 black balls in this reservoir? If you're in Canada you know why. kekeke!

  • Bsgt. Cylius Storhigin

    Go drink another gallon of soy there bud.

  • Saurabh Pethe
    Saurabh Pethe 21 hour ago

    1. Isn't it bad that evaporation is getting reduced by over 80% ? The natural water cycle is getting hampered.
    2. Isn't it bad that birds aren't able to access the water that they normally did?

  • sm vanwers
    sm vanwers 21 hour ago +1

    BRILLIANT. Says it all.

  • rathernot say
    rathernot say 21 hour ago

    I guarantee you this water is going to be f***** up and poisonous this f****** crap isn't going to work Justin Lake and get in between the balls that balls can't form perfect unions there would be spaces so sunlight still getting in

  • Cioboata Mihai
    Cioboata Mihai 21 hour ago

    Because they stole something and now they imprisoned them there

  • Wild Weasel
    Wild Weasel 21 hour ago

    Is this considered marine litter?!

  • AlwaysLearning
    AlwaysLearning 21 hour ago


  • Cow Hippie
    Cow Hippie 21 hour ago

    Who needs shadeballs? Just add more Fluoride it will kill anything

  • Dawn break
    Dawn break 22 hours ago

    I didnt see a warning on not one of those balls about how they may cause cancer???!!! Why does my pen have to have it on it in California but your balls do not??!

  • Stellars Jay
    Stellars Jay 22 hours ago

    another stupid idea from the great sages in commiefornia

  • Zach Woodyard
    Zach Woodyard 22 hours ago

    1:15 when your friend asks you a question and then looks at his phone

  • slope.
    slope. 22 hours ago

    I wanna jump in this balls no homo

  • Amal Mohamed
    Amal Mohamed 22 hours ago

    anyone else notice the bird 5:50 😱

  • rproono
    rproono 22 hours ago

    Wow, LA has been drinking carcinogenic water?

  • CptCanada
    CptCanada 23 hours ago

    The guy presenting these balls doesn't seem trust worthy at all. And how did it take a company to realize the original issue?

  • TTSGT Growtopia
    TTSGT Growtopia 23 hours ago

    Pewdiepie has 96 million subs...

  • Charles just Charles
    Charles just Charles 23 hours ago +1

    Something something .. big black balls.

  • Truck Taxi
    Truck Taxi 23 hours ago

    $32M you know the manufacturer was extremely happy with that order

  • Troll Hunter
    Troll Hunter 23 hours ago

    Because if you released 96 million white balls in California it would be construed as racist

  • Emoji YT
    Emoji YT 23 hours ago


  • Dust In the wind
    Dust In the wind 23 hours ago

    They are banning microwave 5G all over the world how come not us

  • Dan Quay
    Dan Quay 23 hours ago

    Wow 😮 that’s incredible and certainly learned a lot, about these balls , I’m surprised that they didn’t damage the motor on the back of boat 🚣‍♀️ I congratulate you for putting this wonderful educational short video which I was engaged in till the very end, it very rare to see 96,000 black balls

  • Deutschland402
    Deutschland402 Day ago


  • KOS Listed
    KOS Listed Day ago

    Didn't they turn out NOT working nor being cost effective. They don't work, much like liberals.

  • Robert Byrd
    Robert Byrd Day ago

    In the James Cameron film, "The Abyss" millions of black balls were floated on the water of the larger of the 2 (outdoor) tanks in order to keep the atmosphere mostly dark.

  • Thunder'sDad
    Thunder'sDad Day ago

    How are the balls replaced when their useful lifespan is up?

  • TheChannelOfTheYear bob

    Let's drive a boat through the water we are drinking, boats have to release some oil and contaminants

  • Jarod Smith
    Jarod Smith Day ago

    The guy in the suit is awesome. I'd love to work for or with that guy.

  • brianminkc
    brianminkc Day ago

    I don't want someone else's balls in my water.

  • red x17
    red x17 Day ago

    what so they put a boat that could be dirty into water thet goes straight into taps and showers

  • KiLLA CAiN
    KiLLA CAiN Day ago

    Try white it may reflect the sun but then... 🤔

  • talnes alnes
    talnes alnes Day ago

    I use to drink VOSS water when im in USA

  • Scott Lowe
    Scott Lowe Day ago

    Yeah cool, but what's her @ tho?

  • David Black
    David Black Day ago

    You would think they would have made the balls white so they reflect light/heat instead of black, which soaks heat. Making the body of water hotter along with some evaporation.

  • talnes alnes
    talnes alnes Day ago

    What about microplastic contamination in the drinking water?

  • Craig Incardone
    Craig Incardone Day ago

    So at first I thought maybe James Cameron is shooting the Abyss 2 there!

  • Dwayne Conyers
    Dwayne Conyers Day ago

    Always bet on black...

  • Møses
    Møses Day ago

    Flexing those raybans

  • Runsontrails
    Runsontrails Day ago

    So what will go wrong with this. Drownings I would suspect

  • Sami Maleki
    Sami Maleki Day ago

    This is what 96 million pewdiepie fans look like

  • jnk mal
    jnk mal Day ago

    How much do you think this person paied to make sure this video stayed in my feed every single day? Now I see why this got so many views.

  • Pratnamac
    Pratnamac Day ago +1

    how mad are those guys?

  • Scott Free
    Scott Free Day ago

    If you weren't drinking plastic, you are now... great job LA

  • The Official Unit X

    Awsome... Really 96,000,000? Why not 100mil? Lol

  • Paul
    Paul Day ago

    If they add another 4 million they might get full coverage.

  • Some User
    Some User Day ago +1

    Same amount of subscribers PewDiePie has

  • Aryan Umesh
    Aryan Umesh Day ago +1

    Veritasium: It's very rare to see 96 million of anything

    Pewdiepie's 9 year-old army: Am I a joke to you?

  • Gummi Tarzan
    Gummi Tarzan Day ago

    did he say, between the filtration plant and the customer, lies the reservoir? lmao

  • Breigha Collins
    Breigha Collins Day ago

    and you base your sience on three kiddie pools lol that's a cool idea just add more chemicals to the water to lessen the chemicals hmmm sounds like they are going to kill off ther people and there homeless have tou ever seen you delicates drink it wi;; they let there kids drink it

  • Jae Reekay
    Jae Reekay Day ago

    why are they motoring around in water that is supposed to be used for drinking?

    TNTBOOM25 Day ago

    Yo I just did some quick math and well the shade balls are pretty cheap because 96 million of the shade balls all you have to pay is $32,000,000 ain’t that great

  • Carrot Snail
    Carrot Snail Day ago

    0:22 oh sup iron man
    (ok sorry that waas not a good joke)

  • DATPlace4walkthroughs

    To add estrogen to everyone's diet...

  • Lovelock Matt
    Lovelock Matt Day ago

    The balls this guy has had against his chin,doubles the amount in the lake!!!

  • Brandon Cassingena


  • MemePlug
    MemePlug Day ago

    that sound 7:43

  • Brian Heller
    Brian Heller Day ago

    Since they're food safe, couldn't we use a similar, white-dyed ball to reflect sunlight?

  • Ben Zhang
    Ben Zhang Day ago

    The purpose is to drown the fish so people can eat them

  • Randy Taylor
    Randy Taylor Day ago

    Absolutely not unsafe!? Yeah right!!!

  • Randy Taylor
    Randy Taylor Day ago

    No he didn’t think it was nuts!?? Obviously his boss was gonna watch and he must be a ass because he literally said no he didn’t think it. If he didn’t I think he should probably get a psychological evaluation. Who in the normal and healthy functional mind would not think it was nuts!! If dude is watching “come on and lighten up he didn’t mean you literally thought they were nuts” it’s a figure of speech. Way too serious

    GREENBERET M4A3 Day ago

    Everything in the state of California is known to cause cancer

  • Connor RK800
    Connor RK800 Day ago

    “It’s really rare to see 96 million or anything”
    *pewdiepie sweats nervously*

  • Jonathan Shew
    Jonathan Shew Day ago

    Because, Kardashians???

  • cicstommy
    cicstommy Day ago +1

    This video: It’s very rare for anything to have 96 million black balls on it.
    Kim Kardashian: Hold my beer.

  • Alex
    Alex Day ago

    Veritasium travelling through Africa "Looking at this I had so many questions, like why are they black"

  • Mister E.
    Mister E. Day ago

    It’s easier to feed you plastic particles of there pre soaked in your water with the sun beaming on it

    • Mister E.
      Mister E. Day ago

      Definitely toxic .. thanks humanity THanksss

  • Martie Jernegan
    Martie Jernegan Day ago

    The billionaires are taking your water so they can sell it back to you

    • Alex
      Alex Day ago

      How did they take it? They also provide the service of transporting it to your house.

  • Nat is my Name
    Nat is my Name Day ago

    I hate How many Times They Said Balls

  • Myself
    Myself Day ago

    Those are some nice shady balls.

  • Pat Riley aka Island Mountain Pat

    Pretty sad that this is what the world is coming to