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Have you ever deleted something from your computer you never wanted anyone to see? Maybe it was a picture or a Google Chat conversation or the record of visiting a sketchy website? Well, the file may still be hanging out on your computer, waiting to be rediscovered by thieves, a snooping, computer savvy significant other or even a criminal organization in Ghana.
Popular YouTube channel VSauce is known for taking elaborate, almost unanswerable questions and attempting to spit out an answer that’s as close to on point as science currently allows. This week, host Michael decided to look into where deleted Internet files go and more broadly tackle the issue of deletion, on paper, on computers and on a larger scale in nature.
It turns out when we delete files on a computer, all the system really does is mark the space as being once again usable. As such, until a new file actually comes in and uses that spaces, which could take days, months or years, what we deleted is still there, just hanging out. Consequently, with specialized computer programs that only search space that’s marked as unused, experts can go in and view some of the things we’ve gotten rid of.
Like every great entry into the VSauce canon, this clip does more than its fair share of wandering. At one point, it even touches on the American flags we once planted in space and how they’ve likely been completely stripped of their color at this point, truly deleted remnants of a trip taken many many years ago. In a nutshell, that aside explains why Michael is so much fun to watch every week. You never know exactly where he’s going to end up; yet, every detour and surprise journey winds up being just the right amount of relevant and worthwhile.
Since it’s Monday and we’re all looking for ways to get through the work week, I’ve gone ahead and embedded another video below. This one features the VSauce channel’s explanation for why human beings kiss. It’s extremely interesting and has been viewed more than five million times since it debuted. Go ahead and give it a watch. It’s more than worth your time…