21 Best Documentaries on YouTube


YouTube is the richest and most varied source of watching videos online and that too for free. From full-length movies to short clips and to vines, you can watch everything in here. But, this time I am going to let you know about the best documentaries on YouTube.

Documentary is a very unique and creative part of movies which are generally short in lengths. People who are intellectual and always remain interested in informative sources would love to watch these documentaries for sure. There are thousands of documentaries available on YouTube belonging to a variety of subject.

Top 21 Documentaries on YouTube

The purpose of making documentaries is mainly educational. From historic period to modern discoveries, there are hundreds of topics on which documentaries are made. And after much of struggle, I had to pick only 21 out of them. I know it is less for a hungry intellectual soul but I am really sure you would enjoy watching these best documentaries on YouTube.

1. A Certain Kind of Death

A Certain Kind of Death is an American documentary movie which shows that what happens to those dead bodies who have no relatives or no one come to claim them. This is about such a sensitive issue that it surely becomes one of the best documentaries on YouTube.

Of course, the movie contains some graphic contents as well and this is why it is restricted to adults only. This one is a very thoughtful subject and contains very raw emotions.

2. The Family that Walks on All Fours

As intriguing as its title, this one is the next choice here for the category of best YouTube documentaries. This is a documentary by BBC Two which explores the mysterious science behind the members of Ulas family who walks on both hands and legs.

The documentary is shot in form of a narrative and talks about nature and cause behind this walking style of the family including their genetic conditions too.

3. Shelter

I think we need more such best documentaries on YouTube like Shelter. Presented by Vice documentary films, this is a feature length doc movie which throws a light on the lives of homeless youth in New Orleans.

They shot this documentary over the course of a year and highlighted many issues faced by them like mental illness, health, financial struggle and much more than that. They haven’t tried to over-do anything and kept the things raw and fresh as they are.

4. Madness in the Fast Lane: Swedish Sisters


Madness in the Fast Lane is the documentary about two Swedish sisters Ursula and Sabina. Their weird behavior was first came into notice when they started throwing themselves into fast traffic on the M6. However, no amount of drugs or other alcoholic content was found in their body.

What makes this even stranger is that nobody had any idea about their background and the reason behind such behavior of them. The documentary can surely give you goose-bumps at times.

5. 3D Printed Guns

Technology comes with its own share of merits and demerits and one of them is this 3D printing technology. This is the next pick amongst the best documentaries on YouTube which is about a 25 years old guy Cody Wilson who is in favor of production of firearms using 3D printing.

Well, the story highlights that how he became a controversial figure in no time. I personally think that this is the kind of documentary that everyone should watch.

6. Shark Attacks of 1916


Shark Attacks of 1916 is amongst the good documentaries on YouTube to watch but contains some graphic contents too. This is about the infamous shark attacks that too place in New Jersey shore in 1916 in which 4 people were killed and 1 was injured.

Well, to be true this is not the only documentary made on this incident and there are plenty of more. The documentary debates on species of the shark and the panic aroused at that time.

7. Inside North Korea

Well, this is the next mention in the list of best documentaries on YouTube and actually a 3 part documentary. Presented by VICE, the film takes founder Shane Smith on a journey of North Korea and reveals some of the most intriguing and surprising facts about it.

Of course, there are plenty of documentaries and movies available on North Korea, but I don’t think any of them penetrates this deep into this matter like VICE did.

8. The Beginning: Making Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace

We all know how crazy people are about Star Wars and a documentary about the shooting and behind the scenes of its first episode is definitely something epic. In fact, this is the greatest BTS DVD documentary of all time.

This is literally like discovering a whole new Star Wars Universe with really cool environment and no wars at all. I am sure you would not want to miss this at all.

9. Child of Rage

This adult only inclusion for the category of best documentaries on YouTube is about a young girl Beth Thomas and was made in 1989. This chilling story talks about the sexual abuse she went through when she was 1 year old and because of which she wants to kill her brother and her adoptive parents.

Beth stole knives, snapped baby bird’s necks and did a lot of raging things. However, she is a nurse now and fight for abused children.

10. Genocide: Worse than War


This is surely one of the best things to watch on YouTube where you get to witness something really abnormal and extraordinary than your regular life. This is not a war but something which is inhuman and way more complex to understand.

The documentary features Holocaust like episodes on macro levels only and showcase interviews of people like politicians, mass murderers, survivors etc. Belonging to the 80s this will surely terrify you to the core.

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11. This is the Zodiac Speaking

From its name, nobody can guess that this mention in the list of best documentaries on YouTube is about a serial killer. It is as interesting as it is terrifying and talks about a zodiac series killer who terrorized San Francisco for years but never got caught.

He not only killed people but haunted them as well as the police and despite freely moving around the town, never got noticed or caught by anyone.

12. World’s Scariest Drug

Well, of course, this title of the documentary is surely interesting and I am sure you would be excited to know about it too. Well, this VICE presentation is about the scariest drug in the world called Scopolamine.

VICE reporter travels to Colombia to find out about it and the documentary goes on in narrative manner. The film highlights the harmful conditions caused by it where a person who consumed it lose control of his actions despite being totally awake. Hence, it is used for robbing people, raping and humiliating.

13. A Murder in the Family

A Murder in the Family is a very gripping and chilling story of a British businessman who was killed in his sleep in the Philippines. What is going to shock you in it is that his mother Margaret Davis constantly tries to prove that her daughter-in-law, Evelyn was the one behind it.

The case is of the year 2002 and interesting thing about the whole story is that the businessman Steve, basically paid and brought home a 17 year old girl as his wife.

14. The Extraordinary Genius of Albert Einstein

This is the kind of stuff to watch for intellectual and curious people especially those who are a big fan of Albert Einstein. This History channel documentary is an informative detailed study of Einstein and actually a lot to take especially when you have no clue about his work and discoveries.

This is the kind of documentary you wish to watch to get inspired and motivated if you are planning to achieve something extraordinary in life.

15. Lizzie Borden


The documentary made on the case of Lizzie Borden which dates way back in August 1892. It was said that Lizzie Borden took an axe and made 40 whacks on her stepmother. Well, this was not gruesome enough that she gave 41 to her father. However, people still wonder whether it was true or not. And it is brilliantly showcased in this one of the best documentaries on YouTube.

16. Mediums: We See Dead People


Mediums: We See Dead People is a feature length documentary which talks about people serving as psychic mediums who talks to dead people. With this ability of them, they solve crimes, explore hunting, photograph spirits and gets in the depth of paranormal activities.

There are various such people who gets interviewed in the documentary and has different abilities to get involved with these spirits and other psychic people.

17. The 9/11 Faker


What makes The 9/11 Faker one of the best documentaries on YouTube is that it is related to one of the most infamous incident in the world. This story is about a woman Tania Head who lost her husband in the attack but still managed to walk down 78 floors with her right arm dangling.

Well, at the end it all turned out to be a hoax and the real name of this woman was Alicia. But what was surprising for people that why did she fake something so terrible?

18. Just Melvin, Just Evil

If you are looking for interesting things to watch then I am sure this documentary called Just Melvin, Just Evil is going to draw your attention instantly. The film highlights the years of physical and sexual abuse amongst various families with a shared step-father Melvin.

In fact, this is one of the most detailed coverage on the story of child abuse and made by one of the children who were abused by this man called Melvin.

19. Food Fight: How Corporations Ruined Food

A 2008 documentary and the next pick in the list of best documentaries on YouTube, Food Fight is a whole new way to look at the American Agriculture Policy. It throws a light on the 20th century California Food Movement which rebelled against big corporations to support the local organic food businesses.

20. The Great Jungle War


The Great Jungle War belongs to the time of 1915 and shows British soldiers marches through a jungle on a secrete mission. Well, this is about the First World War and showcase Lake Tanganyika which separated Belgian and German colonies in Eastern Africa. This was actually the story about killing German armies.

21. For the Love of God: The Man Who Think He’s Jesus

This one is the last choice here for the category of best documentaries on YouTube and brings to you by Real Stories YouTube Channel. This is one of the most bizarre thing you will get to see on the internet which focus on former IT worker Alan John Miller.

This guy claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and with his partner Mary Magdalene he has taken advantage of more than thousands of people till now.

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There is no limit to the content created on YouTube every single day but most of them hails from the fiction category. However, amidst this the genre of documentaries set themselves apart as they are connected to reality and gives you an opportunity to witness something like never before.

There are plenty of such docs available but finding the best documentaries on YouTube is a real struggle. From exploring the real side of a story to put every detail together for you, I am sure this is the kind of break you want from crazy non-fiction movies being produced these days.

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Nagama Ansari is a well-known blogger and digital marketer, working in the industry from several year, and has written more than 1000+ well-researched information guides and product testing review articles..