The History of the World in 20 Odd Minutes

Last year, we flagged Bill Wurtz’s “History of Japan,” an idiosyncratic video that covered 40,000 years of Japanese history in 9 minutes–everything from the rise of technology and religion, to the influence of China on Japan’s language and brand of buddhism, the emergence of the samurai, the country’s vexed relationship with the West, and the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Although quantity isn’t everything, the video clocked more than 25 million views on YouTube–pretty impressive considering that Wurtz created the video as “a prototype to see if I could do a long video in the first place.”

Now comes his new, more expansive video–History of the World in 20 minutes. Released on Wednesday, the video has already surpassed 4.5 millions views (surely more by the time you read this), and it may teach you a thing … or two … about world history. Have fun with it. And if you’re looking for meatier media that covers the big sweep of history, check out the items in the Relateds below.

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Related Content:

Take Big History: A Free Short Course on 13.8 Billion Years of History, Funded by Bill Gates

The History of the World in 46 Lectures From Columbia University

Free Online History Courses

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.