The library of VR content is growing by the hour, and YouTube has played a big role in supporting 360-degree and virtual reality videos since it launched its 360 hub.
Essential reading: The best VR headsets
Otherwise you can watch these videos by using the app directly on your device. Here's our pick of the best vids to wow yourself with right now.
Surfing in Tahiti
Surf's up. This video lets you board through some barrels in Tahiti without getting wet, and is a really neat use of 360-degree video capture. We like the added build-up before hitting the waves, as well as the underwater shots later on. Great stuff.
VR and nature conservation truly go hand-in-hand and this video should convince you. Join Ronald Mambrasar, an indigenous fisherman-turned-coral-scientist, and his son, Valen as they tell their story and take you on an amazing journey under the ocean.
You've binged the TV show, now experience the VR version. Ok, so this is just a short taste of the popular Netflix series, but it's an effective one, putting you inside the home of the missing Will Byers. Prepare for some serious jump scares.
Notes on Blindness
This short film has been around for awhile but was recently recreated for VR by Arte Experience. After decades of steady sight deterioration, writer and theologian John Hull became totally blind. He began documenting his experiences on audio cassette which is how the film and this project were born. His original diary recordings form the basis of the six-part interactive non fiction project using gameplay mechanics and virtual reality to explore his emotional experience of blindness. It's an incredibly fascinating and moving experience that you can't miss.
Pac-Man is one intense game, but experiencing it in first person is enough to send our blood pressure through the roof. Sadly this version of the arcade classic isn't playable, but it does a neat job of putting you in the shoes (yes he does have shoes, look it up) of the round yellow gobbler. Just keep an eye over your shoulder for those ghosts.
Skydiving with the GoPro Bombsquad
This Blue Skies spherical experience lets you hang out mid-air with skydivers/wingsuiters. The beginning of the 3 minute 30 second vid feels a bit odd as you realise you're basically on one of their heads, but there are some cool slow-mo tricks towards the end. Very neat.
Anything from The Daily 360
The New York Times 360 video series is one of the best uses of the format right now, offering bitesized stories that are made all the more engaging with added immersion. In the video above we meet the man who turned Hell, Michigan into a roadside attraction, but be sure to take a look at others.
More VR goodies from around the site
- The best VR apps and games for iPhoneTop downloads to try out with mobile VR viewers
- How to watch VR pornEverybody wants some
- This tech could be VR's next big breakthroughVR lunges have never felt so good
- Are VR headsets safe for kids? We investigateWe take a look at the potential risks of VR for young eyes and minds
A neat video by motion artist/filmmaker Quba Michalski in which you're inside gravity-less chambers and in the middle of a series of experiments (which pop up on a kind of HUD). It looks awesome and is a genuinely cool little experience, with binaural audio as a bonus. In 2D and stereoscopic 3D.
Five Nights at Freddy's
Another one for the fear fans. Five Nights at Freddy's has become a point-and-click hit, and now it's even scarier thanks to VR. As the description reads, you need to find Freddy before he finds you - just try not to scream.
Bjork's Stonemilker music video
Shot in Iceland by Vrse.work's Andrew Huang, Bjork's nearly 7 minute 360 degree music video for her track Stonemilker (from the album Vulnicura) is well worth checking out. Trust this one to get involved with emerging tech. Also, be sure to check out the Foals 360 video for their song Mountain at my Gates.
GoPro Spherical: Land, Air, and Sea – A Virtual Reality Experience
GoPro again and it's really making a mark in the VR world. The company made a 16-camera rig specifically for virtual reality and this 360-degree intro video lets you search around as "GoPro Heroes" travel across the sea, sail through the air, and climb rock faces on land.
Grand Canyon 360° Video by 360 Labs
You can float down the Colorado River inside the Grand Canyon in this immersive VR adventure. Start off in calm waters and quickly get blasted in the rough whitewater rapids of the Hance, Granite, and Hermit. If you've always wanted to try an adventure on the rapids, but are a bit scared, this video will give you a sense of what it's like without the wet side effects.
Let us know what you've been watching on YouTube 360 in the comments.
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