Hit List: 10 Most Viewed Newfoundland Uploads on YouTube

With all the Newfoundland video uploads that seem to go viral on a local scale via social media, we decided to comb that internationally utilized video platform called YouTube to see how the province ranks in universal keyword search results. To refine our hit list, we put a few key rules in place to get an accurate glimpse of localized video content. Knowing that pet videos dominate the world of YouTube, and the internet in general, we immediately omitted all content concerning the popular breed of the Newfoundland dog. Next, we wanted to focus on more user and blog oriented uploads, so we decided to knock out a few of the results that were from large scale media outlets or production companies that already have a massively established reach or presence (such as George Strombo interviewing Allan Hawco on CBC, or Matty Matheson’s visit to the island for his culinary show on Vice). Lastly, in order to keep emphasis on the video element of our hit list, we also decided to leave off song, album and lyric video uploads of Newfoundland artists(perhaps we can get to that another time).

With our criteria taken into account, what we’re left with is a strange selection of 10 videos that include crashing sports cars, collapsing icebergs, exploding whales, and of course, The White Stripes.

10. The White Stripes One Note Concert in St. John’s, NL (2007)

During their extensive 2007 tour of Canada, Jack and Meg of the defunct legendary rock duo The White Stripes played a series of pop up style free shows along the way. The tour was set to end in St. John’s, NL on July 16th, ’07 at the Mile One stadium, and that afternoon bared their last “secret show” of the year.  On the outdoor stage of St. John’s notorious bar district George Street, the White Stripes appeared for roughly 50 seconds to play a single note, and take a bow.

“We have now officially played in every province and territory in Canada,” Jack White announces before their abrupt exit. The White Stripes submitted the show to Guinness Book of World Records for the shortest concert of all time. Although it was briefly recognized by the organization in 2009, the Guinness Book, much to the bitter dismay of Mr. White, have since scrapped the record on the grounds of being “too trivial”

The 9 year old YouTube upload has currently clocked in at just shy of half a million views.

9. Dead Blue Whale “Might Explode” in Newfoundland, Canada (2014)

In 2014, an 81 foot blue whale carcass washed up on the shore of Trout River, Newfoundland. The whale cadaver became a widely reported spectacle not only because of the rarity to see the species up close, but also because of the fear from the small town with a population of 600 that the decomposing body, which was bloating to half its size with methane gas, might not only fill the small town with an unpleasant rotting odor, but actually explode if they attempted to dissect or dispose of the carcass. The town of Trout River was angered by the federal governments insistence that the removal of the whale was their responsibility, as the community felt they had neither the money nor the resources to do so.

Despite the disagreement of which authorities were responsible, the federal government did eventually step in, and the Whale was disassembled by a team of ten before the skeleton was transported to the Royal Ontario Museum.

The YouTube upload in question, which also clocks in just short of half a million views, seems to be a user who acts as a strange world news aggregator that feeds interesting articles from around the world through a “text-to-speech” application, and accompanies the narration with crudely edited photos and video clips of the news stories.

8. Newfoundland Ferry in Massive Waves (2007)

Like any Newfie with even the most inexperienced of sea legs knows, the Atlantic ocean can be a rough, unpredictable and dangerous place. While there isn’t a whole lot of information about this next video clip, it is a gut-wrenching and butt-clenching sight as a large commercial passenger ferry is tossed around like a life raft by some violent waves.

This silent video was uploaded about 9 years ago to an account which holds no other content. Though there is a definite lack of information regarding the capture, the video has also accumulated half a million views.

7. A Newfoundland Language Lesson Featuring Mark Critch (2011)

Some might challenge us on this one due to our criteria, but even though Mark Critch is an established comedic personality on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, this particular video is an upload by travel blogger Cailin O’Neil. O’Neil explains that every time she visits Newfoundland, she still struggles deciphering the dialect. With the help of fellow travel blogger Candace Walsh, and actor/comedian Mark Critch, O’Neil runs through some over the top, yet hilariously accurate lessons on Newfoundland language.

Critch’s comedic tutoring has currently gained about 525,000 hits.

6. A Subaru WRX STi Crashes into a House During Targa Newfoundland (2012)

This will be the first of 3 videos on this list that involve Targa Newfoundland. For those who don’t know, Targa Newfoundland is an annual tarmac rally race that, according to Wikipedia, covers “2,200-kilometre (1,400 mi) over a seven-day period in September of each year on eastern and central parts of Newfoundland”. Though the weird and winding roads of Newfoundland are closed to traffic during the races, the drivers from around the world who have come to show off their classic or modern sporting vehicles sometimes wind up making detours where they least expect…

This particular driver ends up embedding his Subaru WRX STi into the foundation of someones house. While trying to find the specifics of where and when this crash occurred, it becomes notable that this is not an isolated incident, and crashes of this nature seem to happen every year at the Targa Newfoundland rally.

This video has clocked over 600,000 views thus far. The driver seems fine, but I’m more so concerned to know if Nan & Pop were home when a sporty Subaru gave their cabin a new front door. Nan always says her “home is always open”, but this might be a little much.




5. Hunting Black Bear in Newfoundland (2012)

This next video is an upload by Team Wild TV, a YouTube channel of hunting enthusiasts who travel the world to shoot animals with the use of featured and reviewed firearms. This particular episode features a British chap named Ian Hartford on his prevailing return to Newfoundland following 30 failed attempts of killing one of our black bears. Making this specific expedition a personal vendetta, Hartford is finally successful when he uses a Ruger No. 1 to blast a small unsuspecting bear. Hartford follows the blood trail of his fleeing prey until it finally succumbs to its injuries (as Hartford describes, “nothing beats a solid blood trail). As Hartford celebrates the kill, he refers to the black bear as his “nemesis animal”, though something tells me the dead bear was oblivious to their long begrudging feud.

Proving that there are many out there who love to hunt vicariously, this video has currently gained over 785,000 views.

4. & 3. Ferrari Enzo Crashes into Ocean (2011)

As nothing seems to gain YouTube views like a solid car crash, we return to Targa Newfoundland for both number 4 and 3 on our list. We’ve lumped these two together as they are two separate captures of the same incident. Since we’ve already deemed these tarmac rally crashes at Targa Newfoundland as common occurrence (see number 6 on the list), this plunge seems to be a much rarer occasion that finds one of the participating vehicles sinking into the ocean.

Both these videos feature the same Ferrari Enzo FXX hitting a fence before going for an oceanic dip at the 2011 installment of Targa Newfoundland. One of the videos has broken 2 million views, while the other sits at about 1.5 million.

2. Snow Plow Cutting Through A Record Snowfall in Heart’s Content (2001)

“Back in my day, we needed tractors to make snow forts”

For those of us who can remember the winter of 2000/2001 in Newfoundland, we can actually get away with saying shit like that. ’01 was a rough year that saw us break 119 year old snowfall records, and this particular video gives a glimpse at the treacherously deep snow clearing conditions on the Heart’s Content Highway, Route 74.

This video sits around 2 million views, and it is pretty much the anti Newfoundland tourism commercial.

1. Iceberg Collapsing in Cottlesville, NL (2014)

The number one ranking Newfoundland upload is a strange case, as within 24 hours of us compiling this list, the video itself seems to have been taken down by the user.

While filtering YouTube results, this viral upload depicting a terrifying iceberg collapse from the perspective of nearby boaters still appears in the search results as the most viewed video under our criteria. Like the millions of clicks this capture has received already, we watched this video repeatedly as recent as last night. This morning, much to our surprise, clicking play on the video is now met with a “this video has been removed by the user” message.

We can only assume, given the incredible amount of views this video has earned over the last two years, that the upload may have been purchased by a network, channel or other viral video aggregate, explaining why the original user has abruptly removed the popular upload.

For those who never got a chance to experience it, this video was taken by Wanda Stead and her husband while boating around the Bay of Exploits and taking video of the massive iceberg that lumbered in their presence. Suddenly, the iceberg begins to rapidly crumble creating a gigantic wave of icy debris that charges in their direction. Stead begins to screaming in panic for her husband to “GOOOOO” as the waves come barreling toward their “too close for comfort” position.

Although the video is currently unavailable, you can check out more about the incident here. We’re going to keep our eyes out for if and when this video resurfaces, and we’ll be sure to share if it does.




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