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YouTube celebrates a decade of cats, unicorns, and double rainbows

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YouTube is celebrating its 10th birthday the only way it knows how: with lots of YouTube videos. The video-sharing site is selecting 26 of its best moments and spotlighting them throughout May — alphabetically, a letter per day — on the YouTube Trends blog. Think of it as an end-of-season clip show for the internet's best-loved and longest-running sitcom. When you're catching up with your friends online, you're now more likely to say, "Hey, did you see that crazy thing on YouTube?" than ask about what was on TV.

As YouTube puts it:

YouTube is a portrait of our global culture, seen through the lenses and perspectives of people around the world. It is a portrait built by a creative community of bold and fearless individuals. Built by comedians, gamers, activists, artists, performers, teachers, and pranksters. Built with cats and rainbows and blenders and ninjas and unicorns. It was built on the silly. It was built on the profound. It was built by you.

Well, maybe not you exactly, as all you do is troll people in the comments section, but some people have certainly made a contribution. We don't know what videos YouTube is choosing for the coming month (their first pick isn't up yet), but judging by the links above, we can probably expect to see the likes of Charlie the Unicorndouble rainbow guy, and kittens (inspired by kittens).

300 hours of video uploaded every minute

Oh, and maybe the first YouTube video ever: an 18-second clip about elephants shot by the site's founders at San Diego Zoo. It was uploaded to the then-private site on April 23rd in 2005, before YouTube opened its doors to the public that May. Since then, YouTube has attracted more than a billion unique users (it hit this milestone in 2013), who now upload 300 hours of video to the site every minute.

Which is impressive, certainly, but is nowhere near as important as the actual videos themselves. So, in case you missed our very obvious link above, here's one of our favorites, an oldie-but-goldie from 2008. Kittens (inspired by kittens).