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Who knew pulverization could be so chill?
The Hydraulic Press Channel is pretty self-explanatory: “Wanna see stuff getting crushed by hydraulic press? This is the right channel for you.”
So reads the YouTube description of this hot new viral sensation. Weekly footage depicting heavy-duty machinery crushing objects as innocuous as an Easter basket and finicky as hockey pucks have proved wildly popular on social sites like Reddit ever since an Oct. 6 video introduced the world to the most surprisingly soothing thing since ASMR.
The 100-ton machine featured in the videos costs tens of thousands of dollars and has been used for commercial purposes for over two decades—mostly bending and unbending things. Only recently did a Finnish man who’d been using the press for work think about its other applications. In his first experiment, the hydraulic press crushed a golf ball. Ethan Meixsell’s metal banger “Thor’s Hammer” sets the mood before the cathartic hum of a hydraulic cylinder cuts in and crushes the object.
The appeal of the Hydraulic Press Channel is as much slow-television appeal condensed into mere minutes as it is the seriously sweet relationship that the unnamed Finnish man behind the project shares with his wife. With the channel’s second posted video, her clay creations began making appearances and delighting viewers at the end of each offering. This little blue guy was the first to go the way of the hydraulic press.
Though he was followed by many more creatures and characters.
As of late, the Hydraulic Press Channel has expanded to Instagram, where teaser photos have been posted of coming attractions. Up next on the crushing docket? A bowling ball and bowling pin, which fans have been begging for since stumbling upon the savage videos. Its creator has also joined Reddit, providing a bit of insight into this mysterious content, filled with soothing images and the absolute destruction of material goods.
“I was quite satisfied and also bit afraid of what all is going to follow this. But now I am very happy and excited. My wife has been very nervous,” the hydraulic press superstar said when asked about his online fame via an impromptu Reddit AMA. Judging by the jovial tone of recent videos, the couple couldn’t be happier with their newfound YouTube success.
There is nothing more endearing than a man and his wife celebrating their love via heavy-duty machinery. Those less into the romance and more into the sheer sex appeal of even heavier-duty hydraulic presses, meanwhile, can get their rocks off with this 400-ton monster featured on Slickwraps‘ channel. The instructional arm of the smartphone and tablet skin company went into full fuck-it mode when they made a video starring a shiny new Samsung Galaxy SX7 Edge that fell prey to a hydraulic press.
For the prosumer crowd interested in potentially crushing their tax return on a 20-ton hydraulic press or similarly affordable tool of destruction, there’s always the Will It Crush? YouTube channel. This thick-ass catalogue is no match for technology that’s been killin’ it at the game for over 200 years—quite literally, in fact. It’s horrifyingly easy to find more morbid offerings in the hydraulic press canon; people have died in these things.
But I’ll stick to the more chill hydraulic press videos for now, and maybe forever. Hell, I may even build my own.
A former Weekend Editor at the Daily Dot, April Siese's reporting covers everything from technology and politics to web culture and humor. Her work has been published by Bustle, Uproxx, Death and Taxes, Rolling Stone, the Daily Beast, Thrillist, Atlas Obscura, and others. Siese joined Quartz in December 2016.