Thought internet trends couldn't get any weirder or more obscure? Brace yourself, the slime videos are coming.
Amidst the unapologetic selfies, mouth-watering food porn and
gravity-defying yoga flows, there are now strangely beautiful videos of colorful goo climbing the ranks of Instagram's Explore page — much to the
confused delight (or in some cases, disgust) of thousands.
"Why is this so relaxing?"
"I can't stop watching."
"This makes me feel so weird."
"I thought this was ice cream."
"This is my life now."
Those are just a few of the comments you'll find on these strangely appealing slime videos.
While this Internet trend may be on the rise, slimes and putties are far from new. You may have memories of making homemade slime as a kid — especially if you grew up in the golden, slime-obsessed age of Nickelodeon in the 1990s and early 2000s. This gooey substance is more than just a wacky science experiment for children, though.
Putty-like slimes have long been used for a variety of therapeutic health purposes. Occupational therapists recommend it as a tool to develop grip strength in their patients, and it's also a great stress-relieving tool for people who are prone to fidgeting or suffer from anxiety.
But really, most anyone will get a kick out of these globs of colorful ooze, and if you're active on Instagram, it's easy to get sucked into watching a marathon of these offbeat videos.
"They're so gooey and soothing," says slime-obsessed Instagrammer @freshmilhk, who came across her first slime video about a month ago. "I saw one on Tumblr that was reposted by a store on Instagram in Thailand. I was so intrigued about it's gooey texture [that] I had the urge to look for more."
After sharing some of these clips on her own account, her scores of followers went wild and kept asking her to post more slime videos.
"I never thought this would become such a big thing," she tells MNN. "My favorite is the clear colored slime with little objects inside of them, like mini watermelon slices!"
Of course, the hallmark of any good slime video are the pokes, prods, stretches and folds. Watching people dip their fingers into goo and create popping and squishing noises ignites an instinctual response that's either deeply unsettling or strangely satisfying to watch.
"I can't decide whether this sound is me wanting to kill myself or being my only reason to live," jokes one Instagrammer after seeing the clip below.
This audiovisual experience is just one example of what drives the larger subculture that has been built around a strange physical sensation known as an autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR.
Often described as a "brain orgasm," ASMR is characterized by a relaxing, pleasurable (yet non-sexual) tingling in the head, neck and spine that is triggered in response to various stimuli, such as the sound of crinkling paper, a soft whispering voice or the repetitive handling of an object.
These ASMR-inducing slime videos become even more hypnotizing when other items are added into the mix. In the clip above, you can see (and hear!) how styrofoam packing beads act like bubble wrap, which just so happen to be another popular action featured in relaxation ASMR videos.
Of course some slime additives are meant for purely aesthetic purposes, like the butterfly and heart confetti in the rainbow-tinted clear slime below:
Want to make your own ultra comforting oozy slime? It's easier than you think! There are tons of online tutorials that offer step-by-step instructions.
In the video below, you can learn how to make magical, shimmering slime using glitter glue, water and a tiny bit of borax:
And if you don't feel like making your own slime, you can always just live vicariously through others by exploring Instagram's #slime tag, where you can find delightfully gooey gems like this: