The most-watched YouTube videos of 2013. Or, how the world wasted 1 billion hours this year

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YouTube has released its annual list of the 10 most viewed music and nonmusic (aka "trending") videos on its site. And it turns out that discriminating viewers around the world spent 102,000 years of viewing time watching Miley Cyrus and videos about fox sounds.

The year’s most watched music video online is Korean music sensation PSY's “GENTLEMAN M/V,” which has been viewed 599,300,874 times as of this article’s posting time.

The distinction for most viewed trending video goes to “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” by Ylvis, which had 276,979,319 views as of publishing time. (Yes, we realize "Fox" is a song, but it's not by a professional music artist, so it's categorized differently.)

In the 3:45 clip, people dressed in animal costumes dance in unison while the singer ponders exactly what does the fox say (“Joff-tchoff-tchoff-tchoff-tchoff” is one possibility).

The “Harlem Shake (original army edition)” was a distant No. 2 for trending videos, with more than 95 million views.

How big was Cyrus in 2013? Not only does she have the No. 2 (“Wrecking Ball”) and No. 3 ( “We Can’t Stop”) most watched music videos of the year, a parody of "Wrecking Ball" (“Chatroulette Version”) was the No. 4 trending video of the year.

Here are some other interesting facts about the most watched videos of the year. First, two of the top 10 videos are actually commercials.

At No. 5 is “baby&me / the new evian film,” which had over 67 million views since being posted on April 19. And at No. 6 is the already classic Volvo Trucks commercial “The Epic Split feat. Van Damme” that has been viewed more than 59 million times despite having just been posted on Nov. 13, less than a month ago.

For context, YouTube explains the top 10 videos combined were viewed more than 850 million times and the top 20 YouTube channels were viewed 18.7 billion times in 2013, which equals more than 1 billion hours of viewing time, or 102,000 years.

YouTube also notes that more than 80 percent of its views come from outside the U.S. This helps explain why PSY’s “Gentleman” video was the most watched despite it not being anywhere nearly as recognizable to U.S. audiences as his massive 2012 crossover hit “GANGNAM STYLE,” which is currently closing in on 2 billion views.

While the top 10 trending videos are in English, the top two YouTube channels hail from Sweden and Germany. And the top two trending video channels belong to Norwegians Ylvis and Kenneth Aakonsen.

Here are the top 10 trending YouTube videos for 2013:

1. Ylvis - The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)

2. Harlem Shake (original army edition)

3. How Animals Eat Their Food

4. Miley Cyrus — Wrecking Ball (Chatroulette Version)

5. baby&me / the new evian film

6. Volvo Trucks — The Epic Split feat. Van Damme

7. YOLO (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar)

8. Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise

9. THE NFL: A Bad Lip Reading

10. Mozart vs. Skrillex. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2.

Here are the top 10 most viewed music videos of 2013:


2. Miley Cyrus — Wrecking Ball

3. Miley Cyrus — We Can't Stop

4. Katy Perry — Roar (Official)

5. P!nk — Just Give Me A Reason ft. Nate Ruess

6. Robin Thicke — Blurred Lines ft. T.I., Pharrell

7. Rihanna — Stay ft. Mikky Ekko, Rihanna

8. Naughty Boy — La La La ft. Sam Smith, NaughtyBoy

9. Selena Gomez — Come & Get It

10. Avicii — Wake Me Up (Official Video)


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