There's nothing spectacular about the YouTube video "Me at the zoo".

The 19-second clip shows a lanky young man named Jawed Karim, standing in front of the elephant enclosure at San Diego Zoo and remarking how cool the animals' "really, really, really long trunks" are.

What is significant, however, is the video's status as the first ever uploaded to YouTube - and the fact this happened 10 years ago today, on April 23, 2005. at 8.27pm.

It has since been viewed nearly 20 million times.


Karim, who co-founded the file-sharing website with Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, today boasts a net worth of NZ $184 million.

When Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock, Karim, now 36, received 137,443 shares.

Today, YouTube has more than one billion users and each day, people around the world watch hundreds of millions of hours.

According to the website, the number of hours people are watching on YouTube each month is up 50 per cent year on year - and 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute.

Lately, the website has been pushing more video creation with "YouTube Spaces" opened in Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, New York and Sao Paulo, so far bringing in more than 60,000 people who've created over 6500 videos that have generated more than 50 million hours of watch time, the equivalent of more than 5700 years.

In New Zealand, the most popular videos of last year included the "Let It Go" sing-along from the Disney movie Frozen, and Simon Cowell's "Golden Buzzer moment" with contestants Leondre "Bars" Devries and singer Charlie "Melody" Lenehan on Britain's Got Talent.

The only Kiwi-made video on the Top 10 list was Air New Zealand's controversial "Safety in Paradise" video, that showed Sports Illustrated bikini models talking about on-board safety.

The video, uploaded last February and since replaced by Air New Zealand with a Hobbit-themed video, was criticised by some for objectifying women, and the airline phased it out in July.


It was viewed worldwide more than 6.7 million times and attracted a petition, signed by thousands of people, calling for it to be dropped by the airline.

Worldwide, the most watched videos on Youtube

Warning: Videos below may contain explicit language

South Korean pop star Psy's "Gangnam Style", which became a global phenomenon in 2012 with 2.3 billion views to date.

followed by Justin Bieber's "Baby", with 1.1 billion views.

Others on the top 10 include "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry feat. Juicy J (917.1 million views)

"Roar" by Katy Perry (889.5 million views)


"Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock (856.7 million views)

"Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem feat. Rihanna (849.9 million views)

"Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" by Shakira (839.6 million views)

"On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull (825.5 million views)

"Gentlemen" by Psy (826.1 million views), and the only non-music video

"Charlie bit my finger - again!" by Harry and Charlie Davies-Carr (816.7 million views)