Watch 25+ Web Shows On Discovery’s TestTube Network [Stuff to Watch]

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stuff_to_watch_logo_stwAfter so many years fighting the web with copyright claims and treacle-like reflexes, the TV and movie industries are finally embracing free to watch online video in force. Not only are less full length movies being pulled but channels like Discovery’s TestTube are showing up with a truckload of online-only content.

The new umbrella channel takes Discovery’s penchant for science, nature and technology and repackages it for the online audience of the moment. The network showcases over 25 unique web series, a result of bringing together successful online stalwarts like Stuff You Should Know and Nature Hates You under the one unified heading.

The future of TV is free and on-demand, and it’s already here.

What is TestTube?

TestTube is an attempt to unify the many successful projects that Discovery is a part of on the web. You might not actually realise it, but Discovery have quietly been working on brands like HowStuffWorks for years. The fact that more of us are moving to the web in order to find stuff to watch meant that TestTube was inevitable, really. The fact that it’s already here is great for you and me, and hopefully more networks will embrace the medium in the same way as Discovery has.

You can register and login at to watch, save and even download full episodes (yeah, I know) in your choice of MP4, THEORA and WEBM formats. Discovery are planning a range of ways to consume TestTube content including via Apple TV, Xbox 360 and iTunes, but at the moment you’ll have to stick with the TestTube website and YouTube channel.

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Without further ado, here are my picks of TestTube’s current mainstays on YouTube.

Nature Hates You

Do you regularly look on the negative side of life? Do you feel like there’s a new danger lurking behind each curve life throws at you? Then maybe you’re right. Maybe ‘everything’ actually hates you. Like the sun, for example.

Nature Hates You is a predictable but light and somewhat informative (you know, science and stuff) channel for pessimists the world over. If you crave negative trivia, this show is full of it.

Stuff You Should Know

As previously mentioned, Stuff You Should Know was originally the audio podcast for HowStuffWorks. I’m not sure how popular it is now, but when I started using the Internet as a child, HowStuffWorks was one of those websites that our teachers would recommend.

The audio podcast which debuted as “How Stuff Works” has now blown over into a full-on YouTube channel where knowledgeable hosts Chuck and Josh continue to explore topics of interest. If you enjoy these videos but would prefer listening in half-hourly chunks, check out the podcast instead.


For my money, the best “take a very expensive camera used for science and do fun things with it” show still belongs to the Slow Mo Guys who I have featured in a previous Stuff to Watch. Of course, expensive cameras are limited to those with money – and Discovery also have money, so they decided to make Distort.

Distort is essentially the Slow Mo Guys with a higher budget, more safety equipment and dramatic music. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun, and they often tackle more than petrol bombs and being hit in the face (though they did that one too).

Thanks, Disaster!

Of all the TestTube shows, this one might be my favourite. An almost polar opposite of Nature Hates You, Thanks, Disaster! involves taking a negative world event and looking hard enough for the silver lining. For example, if it wasn’t for the French Revolutionary wars we might not have the modern pencil (as explained below).

Fusing history and a light-hearted short-form web format in perfect harmony, Thanks, Disaster! is probably my favourite show to come out of the TestTube Network so far.

Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know

Taking the Stuff You Should Know format of exposing how the ordinary and unusual actually functions, Discovery approach the conspiracy theory angle with their Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know show. I’d say “take it with a pinch of salt” but thankfully I don’t feel like I have to – we’re not in “crazy” territory here.

While entertaining theories behind weather modification, spying and government cover-ups the show doesn’t claim absolute fact regarding many of these theories. If anything, it’s a show that asks more questions than it answers (and it works best that way).

Pick Your Poison

You know you’re in for a treat when the video you’re about to watch comes with a little disclaimer to remind you not to use it instead of the emergency services! Pick Your Poison is a show all about the affects of certain toxins on the human body. It’s both gruesome and somewhat empowering – after all, do you know how to spot a nasty case of Ricin poisoning?

Or exactly how many cigarettes you’d need to smoke so that you’d die from the affects of the nicotine?

Now you do!

The Rest

Don’t forget to head over to the TestTube website for the latest new videos, as well as respective YouTube channels to follow your favourites using just about any device you own. Do you know of any other similar networks to TestTube? Which is your favourite show? Let us know what you think of these channels, as well as the shift in online-only programming in the comments, below.

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Comments (2)
  • David Jones

    I’ve been watching Rev3 ever since I got my Roku. It is one of our favorite channels. I had no idea that Discovery is responsible for its content! It’s a great place for technophiles and fans of offbeat factoids.

  • Lavender

    Hate to burst your bubble, but psychologists in both the UK and USA have found “conspiracy theorists” are the ones who are rational. Yeah. Go look at it for yourself (if you dare. Wouldn’t want to upset you & your world view):

    Or, as the so-called “tin-foil hatters” say: “Conspiracy Theorist: Nothing more than a derogatory title used to dismiss rational thinkers.” Which method, by the way, is an historical “Progressive” tool: take over the language, ala “P.C.”, deride, mock, and dismiss. Tell the non-critical “thinkers” how brilliant they are, all the while dumbing them down. Never let them realize they’ve never had an independent thought for themselves but are mere parrots. Get them to think they’re “scientific” when in fact they’re completely scientifically ignorant (they don’t even know what science *is*). Then point them at the enemy and let ‘em rip. Voila! Everyone (read: sheeple) now KNOWS conspiracies don’t exist (yeah, tell that to the guys who broke up the Robber Barons’ empires) and anyone who thinks differently are “tin-foil hatters” and “conspiracy nuts”.

    Then government can continue on to business as usual: NDAA; SISPA; SOPA; universal spying in the name of “security” (now, why on earth would *anyone* become paranoid?); endless SWAT raids on people who dare to have raw milk in their fridges (do a search for that one if you’re unaware, which I assume you are); and so on and on and on.

    Yeah. Move along, sheepies. Nothing to see hear. Go read MUO’s brilliant scientific analyses of trendy crap. Whatever you do, don’t learn anything actually useful that could make you a problem to people with wealth and power.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.