What If?

Unlocking the ‘What If?’ Universe: A Journey Through Science and Imagination

Yo, brainiacs and thrill-seekers! Ever caught yourself in a YouTube vortex, courtesy of the “What if?” channel? It’s like a mental gym where your brain does the heavy lifting, tackling questions that are as nutty as a squirrel’s dinner.

you're floating in mid-air because gravity just peaced out

Picture this: you’re squaring off against a horde of zombies with nothing but your trusty spatula, or you’re floating in mid-air because gravity just peaced out. Crazy, right?

you're floating in mid-air because gravity just peaced out - image concept

you're floating in mid-air because gravity just peaced out - image concept by author


These are the brain-bending brews concocted by Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, YouTube’s own wizards of weird.

Asap Science team members

They’re the guys who brought you AsapSCIENCE, and trust me, they know how to whip up a concoction of science with a pinch of “what the heck?” and a sprinkle of giggles that’ll have you hooked faster than you can say “Eureka!”

Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown

Buckle up, buttercups! We’re about to zoom through the “What if?” cosmos in this epic blog series. We’ll slice and dice, getting to the juicy core of what makes these videos a feast for your gray matter. From the get-go, they grab you by the eyeballs, and before you know it, you’re as glued to the screen as your hand is to a tube of superglue. But hey, we’re not just here to swoon over “What if?” like it’s the last chocolate in the box. Nah, we’re also gonna dish out the secret sauce behind crafting your own viral video essays. Who knows? You might just break the Internet, or at least make a couple of eyeballs pop.

What if - by Asap Science

Gear up, get your snack arsenal ready (we’re talking popcorn, not quantum physics), and unleash that wild imagination. We’re diving into the “What if?” wonderland, where the only rule is to leave “dull” at the door. Are you pumped to have your mind twisted into a pretzel? Let’s get this party started! 🚀🧠

pumped to have your mind twisted


Hooking Viewers with Compelling Hypotheticals

The “What if?” creators have mastered the art of the hook. Each video poses an intriguing hypothetical scenario that captures viewers’ curiosity.

For example, “What if everyone jumped at once?” or ”

These out-there ideas reel audiences in, enticing them to keep watching to discover the answer.


To craft effective hooks, the creators brainstorm novel scenarios that spark the imagination. Getting creative with hypotheticals takes some practice. Start by asking “what if” questions related to your video topic, and choose the most interesting ones to explore. The goal is to make viewers think, “Huh, I never considered that before!” and feel compelled to hear your take.

Once you have a unique scenario, phrase it as a compelling question to turn it into a hook. Short, punchy questions work best to grab attention quickly. Sprinkle in some supporting details and statistics to highlight why this question matters. Remember—your hook sets the tone for the entire video, so make it count!

your hook sets the tone for the entire video


Blending Science and Speculation

science and speculation

The “What if?” videos walk a fine line between science and speculation. They take a scientific approach to evaluating hypothetical scenarios while necessarily relying on some guesswork too. This blend of facts and imagination is part of what makes these videos so fun to watch.

To achieve this balance in your own video essays, leverage available scientific data and principles to ground your analysis. For example, estimate the physics involved if everyone jumped at once. At the same time, don’t be afraid to extrapolate and make logical leaps about potential impacts. As long as you clearly state when you’re speculating versus presenting facts, some informed guesswork can raise the intrigue level.

What if learning videos

When speculating, use language like “might,” “may,” and “could” to indicate you’re making an educated guess instead of stating definitive claims. And always prioritize facts over assumptions whenever possible. Blending established science with thoughtful speculation takes finesse, but when done well, it makes for a compelling analysis.


Animating Complex Ideas

quirky animations

Another signature of the “What if?” channel is the use of quirky animations. These simple but effective drawings help illustrate complex concepts and bring hypothetical scenarios to life. For example, animating a chain reaction of jumping people across the globe.

animating a chain reaction of jumping people across the globe

Visuals like these serve several key functions. Firstly, they grab attention with eye-catching motion and humor. Secondly, they aid in the comprehension of tricky ideas that would be hard to grasp with words alone. Thirdly, they add a playful element that softens the serious science facts.

When crafting your own video essays, consider where basic animations could help clarify or enhance your content. You don’t need advanced digital animation skills. Simple doodle-style drawings that capture the essence of an idea are often the most effective.

Be sure the visuals match your overall tone and strengthen rather than distract from your message.


Balancing Informational Depth with Levity

videos aim to educate and inform.

At their core, “What if?” videos aim to educate and inform. They delve into complex subject matter like physics, biology, and geology while unpacking the logic behind each scenario. This clear explanatory approach helps viewers deeply understand the topics covered.

At the same time, the videos maintain an underlying current of lightheartedness. Humorous elements like the quirky drawings, fun facts, or the hosts’ banter with each other add an air of casual levity. This prevents the videos from ever feeling dry or overly academic.

When making your own science-based videos, aim for this delicate balance of informative depth with casual humor. Include interesting trivia, amusing analogies, or witty asides to keep energy levels up between deeper dives into the core subject matter. The goal is an enjoyable learning experience that feels more like a lively conversation than a boring lecture.


Inspiring Awe and Curiosity

What if videos

By speculating about extraordinary hypothetical situations, the “What if?” videos cultivate viewers’ sense of awe and curiosity about the world. They spur audiences to keep learning through post-video research or heated debates with friends about who’s right.

The channel excels at identifying topics that spark imagination and conversation. As you select ideas for your own video essays, consider which concepts light up people’s curiosity and tap into a sense of unlimited possibility. Complex scientific principles like astronomy, quantum physics, or cosmology often work well by revealing how much we still don’t understand about our amazing universe.


Lean into this sense of awe when scripting your video. Use vivid language, epic statistics, and visuals that highlight just how incredible, mysterious, or beautiful your topic is. By igniting viewers’ innate curiosity, you motivate them to keep discovering new knowledge long after your video ends. What a wonderful legacy to inspire!


Parting Wisdom for Aspiring Video Essayists

What If?

For those looking to start their own video essay channels in the spirit of “What if?”, here are a few parting tips:

  • Hook viewers immediately with an intriguing hypothetical scenario posed as a question.
  • Blend established science with thoughtful speculation to explore scenarios.
  • Use simple animations to clarify complex concepts and add humor.
  • Balance informative depth with casual humor and witty asides.
  • Select topics that ignite imagination and curiosity to inspire ongoing learning.

By combining creativity, science, visuals, and a sense of fun, you too can produce irresistible video essays. The “What if?” formula offers an excellent blueprint to emulate. Simply adapt it to your own style and passions. Who knows what captivating conversations and worlds of discovery your videos might unlock? The possibilities are endless.

Now get brainstorming your first “what if” and let the hypothetical adventures begin!


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