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

Views 29 360 061
96% 283 695 9 906

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.

Published on


veritasiumblack ballsballsball pitshadereservoirblackplasticwaterLAlos angelesLA reservoirLADWPbromatebromidewater qualityalgaeevaporationwater supplychlorinesunlightsciencephysicscarcinogencarcinogenic




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Comments 100
Neal Mitchell
Neal Mitchell Minute ago
Why are they riding in a gas powerd boat in a drinking water reservoir?
Dehydrated Llama
Dehydrated Llama Minute ago
did anyone see the seagull get sucked into the airplane engine?? RIP
LynxProd 10 minutes ago
That's fascinating!
Silas Ehlers
Silas Ehlers 11 minutes ago
Loli Gang
Loli Gang 12 minutes ago
96 or 69 like if u agree lolhahhaxd
Blood disorder
Blood disorder 18 minutes ago
Our oceans are much bigger than the world thought and it’s taking a long time to completely fill them with plastic so they’re just going straight to the drinking water now.
Fish Forever
Fish Forever 18 minutes ago
minecraft lake......
Hulbog Stonethrower
Hulbog Stonethrower 21 minute ago
Are they still adding Fluoride to the water that does nothing to stop tooth decay, is carcinogenic and lowers IQ by 20 points?
Gen X
Gen X 22 minutes ago
The muslim slave trade?
Hulbog Stonethrower
Hulbog Stonethrower 27 minutes ago
My guess was to let NASA fake space.
Matt Pagel
Matt Pagel 27 minutes ago
Did you and the camera guy have to go through a 4 hour "OP-2 training" (it used to be a full day!) where they popped in a video tape of someone reading the booklet that was in front of you out loud to you before they would let you in the facility? With very little that pertained to the actual reservoir? Or was that water agency different enough from the state of CA that you didn't do that?
Mr. Hungry A lot
Mr. Hungry A lot 27 minutes ago
Who's here from that How I went viral video
David Karanja
David Karanja 28 minutes ago
Will this reach 96M views?
Daniel Kelling
Daniel Kelling 36 minutes ago
Damn, this really went viral!
some frog
some frog 38 minutes ago
i think i seen this video on blacked :)
Chase The Summit
Chase The Summit 46 minutes ago
You owe my view to Mr. Beast getting your title right.
BytemeVV -
BytemeVV - 47 minutes ago
...Writing this down to reduce Bromate have some Balls... Got it!
Bravo Booty
Bravo Booty 48 minutes ago
Haha balls
M D 49 minutes ago
Maybe I haven't gotten to the part that explains how this doesn't heat the water up? Sun on black = heat?
natasha syberia
natasha syberia 50 minutes ago
But it is not all completely covered oO
Jesse H
Jesse H 51 minute ago
to prevent evaporation there i answered the question without pointing the camera at my ego
bigpig187 53 minutes ago
0:58 The real question is more about the 30hp engine driving in drinking water ?
MAGA MAN 55 minutes ago
3 for a dollar. So they only spent $32 MILLION on creating the balls. I wonder how much more was siphoned off int other governmental fees?
MAGA MAN 57 minutes ago
"These are totally food grade" Didn't roundup say something like that about their product?
Volvirth 58 minutes ago
I originally thought it was to combat algae growth. ... Turns out i wasn't entirely incorrect after all... Huh, you learn something new every day. :3
C J Hour ago
Only in California lol
Selina Argento
I'd prefer to have a filtration center between me and the reservoir
Gigaheart Hour ago
I already watched this video on the day it came out. I am back here reading comment after watching the latest video on how to go viral and hearing that Mr Beast said it was a banger. He was absolutely correct.
Julie Harris
Julie Harris Hour ago
If you think or believe it's safe, YOU ARE CRAZY!
momatomic Hour ago
Thank you. I appreciate the education on this, and props to the soda company who brought this to their attention. I never would have guessed the reason, but knowing a chemical reaction was producing a carcinogen is alarming. The solution is rather ingenious, so props to those who resolved this problem with shade balls. My question now is, how many unprotected drinking water supplies still exist that are producing bromate across the country? Many years ago, the open air reservoir in Seattle was covered, but the reasons they gave were fishy. I remember what they said. It was put forth that too many people were coming inside the fenced area and peeing in the water, birds, etc., even to producing a suspect. Claims were that they would have to drain the reservoir because someone peed in it? Really? I think you have exposed the real reason it was covered. The water was producing carcinogenic bromate. That was government deception at it's most typical. I really thank you all for this valuable information.
MAGA MAN Hour ago
"Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?" Because California likes to waste tax payer money! You know what would work better than these? How about not flushing 93% of all that rain we just got straight out into the ocean. California is not about solving problems, its all about raising taxes and making more money for politicians. Got a problem with not enough electricity? Raise taxes/prices on electricity, but whatever you do, don't build more power plants. Got a problem with lack of water? Raise taxes/prices, but whatever you do, don't create more places to catch rain water. California is in a constant, self inflicted state of Victim-hood and they have no intention of changing it. The entire state is falling apart and I am done with it. I am moving and I am never coming back.
TobyTurner Hour ago
snappy flappy
snappy flappy Hour ago
what would happen if you fell in probably its not swimmable
John B
John B Hour ago
Because fruits and nuts
Bilawal Sidhu
Bilawal Sidhu Hour ago
When you're in C4D Mograph / Maya MASH and stress testing your beast new PC
All that water no longer evaporating will no longer be in the air as water vapour, which would then later fall as rain. Surely this might mean less rainfall in the surrounding area? Then wouldn't that mean that farmers will have to pay for more metered water, that otherwise would have fallen as free water from the sky? Also, reservoirs all over the world have wildlife that use them, but they don't get covered in plastic, and how come they manage Bromate levels without using 96 million plastic balls?
H3xa F1ow
H3xa F1ow Hour ago
3:38, a fricking UFO IN THE TOP LEFT
348 Loaded Lever
Just think of all the dirty black balls jokes gonna get said
Steve Feinstein
I really liked this video, it reminded me of what I felt when i watched Huel Howser do his California's Gold segments. I don't know if he was an inspiration to you, but if not, you should research him, and if so, I bet he'd ben proud.
einar thor thrastarson
And how long until the plastic starts affecting that water?
mn3m0n1c Hour ago
Replace them with floating solar panels. That will multiply the benefits. India is covering their water reservoirs with PV panels.
arpit parekh
arpit parekh Hour ago
Can my comment also go viral? 😂
Michael Choe
Michael Choe Hour ago
Mr. Beast is genius with the thumbnail and title suggestion
Anthony Simpson
yes, subscribe to this channel, the link is below, please help up to 1000 subss :)) usvid.net/video/video-P739zoIwcT0.html
Reece Naidu
Reece Naidu Hour ago
Real life Shadesmar! Sup Stormlight Archive readers!
Rj Hour ago
"Its very rare to see 96 million of anything" ok, next video
K A T E Hour ago
The balls were used to represent how many subscribers pewdiepie has
Sarah Beth 966
Big business selling us useless stuff that comes with false narratives for marketing . Seriously ? those balls are exactly that a load of …. BX,,,
Caynan Crenshaw
Caynan Crenshaw 2 hours ago
i would like too see Mr.Beast beat this (96 million balls)
Caynan Crenshaw
Caynan Crenshaw 2 hours ago
looks like some good caviar (whale eggs), LoL
风君子 2 hours ago
Bubble tea
David McCoul
David McCoul 2 hours ago
He has Mr. Beast to thank!
DatsiKxModz 2 hours ago
BPA (bisphenol-A) in plastics mimics estrogen in the body and is cancerous
Cat Daddy
Cat Daddy 2 hours ago
Globalist politicians {Left} are trying to exterminate the white race. Import the third world and become the third world. Mass immigration HAS TO STOP.
yeathisiskenny 2 hours ago
conspiracy theorists be like: it's to poison us!!!
Flawed73 2 hours ago
I know the answer! There is a fat white chick at the bottom! LoL!
Eryk Romanski
Eryk Romanski 2 hours ago
Unlike everyone else it seems, I was not suggested this video.
SomeGuy OnTheInternet
This video might get 96 million views.
Alex Wilson
Alex Wilson 2 hours ago
Bird: GG
nisse hult
nisse hult 2 hours ago
give that politican guy a rise. first time I wanted to listen to one of them
Ace Strife
Ace Strife 2 hours ago
"food grade plastic" Oh boy.
Jack Mehoff
Jack Mehoff 2 hours ago
What a place to get rid of a few bodies.. ivan milat approves
Seth Buckgnar
Seth Buckgnar 2 hours ago
those dang loitering birds! until we had our officers give them citations
SoCiAl HaZaRd
SoCiAl HaZaRd 2 hours ago
Can people float on top of the balls lol
Eli Moon
Eli Moon 2 hours ago
Notice the bird sucked into the jet engine at 5:52 ?!
Ryan Oliver Daugherty Recio
so the price was 32,000,000 dollars
RPzilla 2 hours ago
0:55 and 5:51
Pepetheprotector 444
5:50 RIP bird look at the jet engines lol
Pepetheprotector 444
how they get al th ball in the back of that truck
Pepetheprotector 444
when you are playing a zombie game and all of a sudden a bunch iof zombies start coming outta ow where 1:49
Mike Geisen
Mike Geisen 2 hours ago
A old guy with a tie and a douche bag child talking about how they are saving mankind. Quit Geo Engineering, Operation Solar Shield, Harvard University. Check it out!
DOOBIEDO YOU 2 hours ago
DO NOT BE DECEIVED. Aren't they discontinuing the use of plastic water bottle because they leach toxins?????? "Bromate poising" looks like a another false flag like "global warming," "school shootings," and "tv going digital" to usher in some agenda like depopulation. Its like INSURING you get the toxins by soaking toxic balls in all the possible drinking water at the source. Just sayin.
Deus ExMachina
Deus ExMachina 2 hours ago
The suit guy is LITERALLY Dick Cheney! Or at least Christian Bale doing Dick Cheney in Vice! Damn!!!
M Henhawke
M Henhawke 2 hours ago
So let me get this straight, first the water goes through a filtration process, then into a reservoir , then to your homes and business. And nobody seems to mind having a gas powered 4 stroke Yamaha boat, cruising around in their drinking water?. I would be questioning this practice. Mark.
Stuck in mud
Stuck in mud 2 hours ago
Watch my muddy videos
RandomEmyr 2 hours ago
Bird: exists Airplane: im about to end this mans whole career.
RandomEmyr 3 hours ago
Mr Incredible: *Nervous sweating*
Jared Wooten
Jared Wooten 3 hours ago
Your hairline is non-existent
Josh Mcdonald
Josh Mcdonald 3 hours ago
cancer 96 million times over
Walter Neto
Walter Neto 3 hours ago
Just me would like him to film underneath the shade balls???
tim tao Mathisen
tim tao Mathisen 3 hours ago
People do things behind the minds eye black balls phd lol
Kurtis Finch
Kurtis Finch 3 hours ago
If you go under all those balls it'll look scarier then subnautica.
Timon D
Timon D 3 hours ago
why would you go with a motor boat in drinking whater??? WTAF
Clint Brantley
Clint Brantley 3 hours ago
Every white girl dream
Jonathan Duenas
Jonathan Duenas 3 hours ago
A boat in a freshwater reservoir?...
mpir78 3 hours ago
So that's a reservoir of drinking water and you're allowed to drive a boat with a two stroke ICE in it??? Hmmmm...
SpiffingLadyCat 3 hours ago
Operation dark storm
RaptorGabriel 3 hours ago
When I saw your face I honestly thought you were tony stark
T Samuel
T Samuel 3 hours ago
I don't understand why they didn't tell what results they got with testing white balls. Stable pigment and the reverse of absorbing light for a contrasting basis for creating a shadow.
ThomasTheSailor Chubby
Nobody talked about swimming in the ball pond.! Is there fish below ?
Subscribe to me for a reason
Man I would go in there next thing you know I just fall in and drown becouse I can’t get up 😂
Baron Von Trenk
Baron Von Trenk 3 hours ago
The guys who run these reservoirs have a lot of balls
Uncle Cracker
Uncle Cracker 3 hours ago
Izabella Barua-Wilding
Why did I click this video? I did not know what it was about
Tío Pío
Tío Pío 3 hours ago
Morons with linear thinking introduce plastic balls into water to eliminate a harmful chemical and in turn introduce many more harmful chemicals to the water people shower in, which do penetrate the skin. Such as BPA and all of the Bisphenols, plastisizers, pthalates, xenoestrogens, ect. Food grade my buttocks: Deemed food grade by the FDA? -Have to put my tin foil hat on to believe such a far fetched lie.
kimura kano
kimura kano 3 hours ago
There was a time when I would trust that these people knew what they were doing. But I can't help feel that there is a big globalist profiting somewhere from this
shemica16 4 hours ago
What I don't understand is, how can you drink from a body of water that is exposed to the elements, driven around with boats and previously had a ton of bird poop in it? Is it cheaper? Or do you have no choice? Is the water filtered before reaching consumers? Tap water in my country is 100% groundwater. I know I can safely drink water like that.
Occam's Razor
Occam's Razor 4 hours ago
Looks like they would have made them balls white instead of black. White to reflect the sun rays.
John Snyder
John Snyder 4 hours ago
They're chemical balls to to the friggin' frogs gay.
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