5 Free YouTube Documentaries to Make You Smarter
Arts Entertainment

5 Free YouTube Documentaries to Make You A Little Bit Smarter

Documentaries are riveting, especially when they're free.


Because I don't have Netflix, I usually have to scour YouTube if I want to find something interesting to kick back and watch. I've come across many a good documentary in my time, but there are a few that stand out in quality of production, information and overall appeal. I have a particular fascination with true crime and history, so many of these documentaries center around such subjects. Without further ado, here are 5 fascinating YouTube documentaries.

1. The Case of Jussie Smollett

The Jussie Smollett scandal was one of the most outlandish acts of 2019. I say "one of" because the college cheating scandal is worse, or at least being talked about more. To provide some background: Jussie Smollett was an actor on the hit TV show "Empire" who was allegedly beaten by two men who poured bleach on him, tied a noose round his neck and yelled "this is MAGA country". Smollett had charges pressed against him by the two men who say he hired them to carry out this act, but the charges were mysteriously dropped after he had been indicted. This story is riveting from start to finish, and highly worth the watch.

2. "Hidden Killers in the Post War Home"

As a 1950s history nerd, I found this documentary particularly interesting because you never really get to see the domestic side of history. How did people act in their own homes? How were they decorated? What did the kids play with? This documentary answers all these questions and more. On top of that, it really makes you wonder what we have in our homes that may be slowly killing us...

3. "Tales From The Royal Bedchamber"

Similarly to the above documentary, this one gives all the juicy, intimate details that you never knew you wanted to know about history's monarchs. The bedroom is the most intimate place in the house (or castle), and this is no exception for royals. As host Lucy Worsley points out, many of history's biggest decisions were made in the bedroom. This documentary does an awesome job of "pulling back the curtains" of history, so to speak.

4. "Caligula with Mary Beard"

Mary Beard is an extremely interesting narrator and I love the bit of humor she brings in. On top of that, Caligula was a fascinating person. He lived a short life of intrigue, paranoia and sexual confusion. Ancient Rome was crazy in general, but Caligula and the bad emperors made life especially unpleasant for their subjects. Luckily we live in 2019, where we can learn about their suffering and experiences from the comfort of our own homes.

5. "Where Did We Come From?"

This is an entire Nova episode on YouTube, which is really rare. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a gem and a national treasure, so this is an even bigger treat. This episode discusses human origins, evolution, memory, and more in an amazing one-hour long documentary. Science nerds will love this one! I highly recommend.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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