This is Ode To…, a weekly column where we share the stuff we’re really into in hopes that you’ll be really into it, too.
Thankfully, the cultural peak of the unboxing video has come and gone. Do you really want to watch another person open a new iPhone or a box from Glossier? But there’s still room for riffs on the genre — for example, these profoundly disturbing “wet unboxing” clips from artist Alex Frost.
Each video shows Frost opening up a package of some kind underwater. The stuff, whatever it is, oozes into the water, usually turning it gray and filling it with weird flakes. It’s absolutely nauseating. I can’t stop watching.
Here is one of the more disgusting clips, for example. It features Frost opening an egg sandwich, peppering the water with bits of egg and sad, floating vegetables. Turn the volume up for the full experience — the sound of the sandwich being dismantled is a damp-sounding squish.
There are also videos starring more liquid-y substances: a chalky dose of Pepto Bismol, or a vaguely foreboding bottle of cold brew. These liquids emerge from their containers slowly, in a feathery trickle, and are generally very pleasant to watch. (You know how pretty long hair looks underwater? It’s kind of like that.)
On the slightly gelatinous side of things, there’s travel-sized toothpaste, which squirts out of its tube in one long, gloppy snake.
Then, of course, there are the weirder objects. In my personal favorite, Frost unwraps individual tablets of Alka-Seltzer, letting them fizz and dissolve into the water as their packaging floats beside them.
In another clip, he pops caffeine pills from a foil sheet. Nothing really happens to them, but the gentle pop of the tablets coming out of the packaging is extremely satisfying in an ASMR type of way.
It’s hardly a secret that the internet is drawn to content at the intersection of gross and satisfying — take Dr. Pimple Popper, for example — which gives me immense hope for the future of this project. There’s lots of stuff that looks weird in water, and thus infinite possibilities for wet unboxing’s future.
Might I suggest a breakfast burrito? A packet of almond butter? A bottle of hyaluronic acid serum? Whatever it is, I’ll watch. It’ll be beautiful and sickening, the two things the internet does best.