10 Best YouTube Documentaries to watch in 2024

Best YouTube Documentaries

YouTube has become more than just a platform for cat videos and viral challenges; it’s also a treasure trove of insightful and captivating documentaries. 

From exploring ancient civilizations to unraveling the mysteries of the universe, YouTube offers a plethora of documentaries covering various subjects. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Best YouTube Documentaries, highlighting their benefits, how to find the best ones, and some top picks across different genres.

Introduction to Best YouTube Documentaries

Best YouTube Documentaries cover a wide range of topics, including science, history, nature, technology, culture, and more. 

They provide viewers with an opportunity to learn, explore, and expand their horizons from the comfort of their own homes. 

With the rise of independent filmmakers and content creators, the diversity and quality of Best YouTube Documentaries continue to improve.

Benefits of watching Best YouTube Documentaries

Educational value

One of the significant benefits of watching YouTube documentaries is their educational value. 

They offer in-depth insights into various subjects, presenting information in an engaging and accessible manner. 

Whether you’re interested in space exploration, environmental issues, or historical events, there’s a documentary on YouTube to satisfy your curiosity.

Entertainment factor

Despite their informative nature, YouTube documentaries are also entertaining. Many filmmakers employ creative storytelling techniques, stunning visuals, and compelling narratives to keep viewers engaged from start to finish. 

Whether you’re a history buff, a science enthusiast, or a nature lover, there’s something for everyone in the world of YouTube documentaries.

Accessible content

Unlike traditional documentaries that may require a subscription or purchase, YouTube documentaries are readily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. 

With just a few clicks, viewers can discover a vast array of content spanning different genres and topics. 

This accessibility democratizes knowledge and allows people from all walks of life to explore new ideas and perspectives.

How to find the best YouTube documentaries

Finding the best YouTube documentaries can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. 

However, with the right approach, you can uncover hidden gems and enrich your viewing experience.

Using search filters

YouTube’s search filters allow you to narrow down your search results based on factors such as upload date, view count, and relevance. 

By utilizing these filters, you can quickly find documentaries that align with your interests and preferences.

Recommendations from trusted sources

Another way to discover great YouTube documentaries is by seeking recommendations from trusted sources. 

Whether it’s a friend, a reputable website, or a social media influencer, hearing about a documentary from someone you trust can increase the likelihood of it being worth your time.

Exploring curated playlists

Many YouTube channels and users curate playlists featuring their favorite documentaries on various topics. 

These playlists can serve as a valuable resource for discovering new content and exploring different genres. 

Whether you’re interested in true crime, space exploration, or environmental issues, there’s a playlist out there for you.

10 Best YouTube Documentaries across various genres

“Blackfish”: Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, “Blackfish” delves into the controversial topic of captive orcas, particularly focusing on Tilikum, a performing killer whale involved in the deaths of several individuals. Through interviews with former trainers and experts, the film explores the ethical and emotional complexities of keeping these highly intelligent creatures in captivity, shedding light on the consequences of their confinement on both animal and human welfare.

Best YouTube Documentaries

“The Cove”: Directed by Louie Psihoyos, “The Cove” is a gripping exposé of the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan. The documentary follows a team of activists and filmmakers as they clandestinely investigate and document the brutal slaughter of dolphins, revealing the environmental and ethical implications of the lucrative dolphin trade and the devastating impact on marine ecosystems.

Best YouTube Documentaries

“13th”: Directed by Ava DuVernay, “13th” is a powerful examination of the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States. The documentary traces the history of racial inequality from the abolition of slavery to the present day, highlighting the disproportionate incarceration of Black Americans and the systemic racism embedded within the criminal justice system.

Best YouTube Documentaries

“Jiro Dreams of Sushi”: Directed by David Gelb, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” offers a mesmerizing glimpse into the life of Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin-starred sushi restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station. The film explores Jiro’s relentless pursuit of perfection, his unwavering dedication to his craft, and the delicate artistry behind his world-renowned sushi.

Best YouTube Documentaries

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”: Directed by Morgan Neville, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” celebrates the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, the beloved host of the children’s television program “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Through archival footage, interviews, and heartfelt anecdotes, the documentary explores Rogers’ profound impact on generations of viewers, his unwavering commitment to kindness and empathy, and his enduring message of love and acceptance.

Best YouTube Documentaries

“Man on Wire”: Directed by James Marsh, “Man on Wire” chronicles the extraordinary feat of Philippe Petit, a French high-wire artist who famously walked between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Through a combination of interviews, reenactments, and archival footage, the documentary captures the meticulous planning, audacious execution, and sheer audacity of Petit’s illegal and death-defying stunt, often described as the “artistic crime of the century.”

Best YouTube Documentaries

“Searching for Sugar Man”: Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, “Searching for Sugar Man” follows the quest of two South African fans to uncover the mysterious fate of Rodriguez, an obscure American musician whose folk-rock albums flopped in the U.S. but became legendary in apartheid-era South Africa. Through interviews and investigative work, the documentary unravels the enigmatic story of Rodriguez’s unexpected resurgence to fame and the profound impact of his music on a generation of fans.

Best YouTube Documentaries

“Exit Through the Gift Shop”: Directed by the elusive street artist Banksy, “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is a thought-provoking exploration of the world of street art and its intersection with commercialism and authenticity. The documentary follows the eccentric journey of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles who becomes obsessed with filming street artists, including Banksy himself, and eventually transforms into a street artist under the pseudonym Mr. Brainwash. Blurring the lines between truth and fiction, the film raises questions about the nature of art, fame, and the commodification of creativity.

Best YouTube Documentaries

“The Act of Killing”: Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, “The Act of Killing” is a chilling and surreal documentary that challenges former Indonesian death squad leaders to reenact their real-life mass killings in whatever cinematic genres they wish. Through a series of disturbing and surreal reenactments, the documentary explores themes of guilt, trauma, and impunity, offering a harrowing glimpse into the psyche of perpetrators and the legacy of violence in Indonesian society.

Best YouTube Documentaries

“Grizzly Man”: Directed by Werner Herzog, “Grizzly Man” tells the tragic story of Timothy Treadwell, an environmentalist and amateur bear enthusiast who spent thirteen summers living among wild grizzly bears in the Alaskan wilderness before being killed by one of the bears in 2003. Through Treadwell’s own footage, interviews with friends and experts, and Herzog’s distinctive narration, the documentary explores Treadwell’s complex relationship with nature, his dangerous obsession with the bears, and the ultimately fatal consequences of his misguided idealism.

Best YouTube Documentaries

Tips for enhancing your documentary-watching experience

Choosing high-quality content

When selecting documentaries to watch on YouTube, prioritize high-quality content produced by reputable filmmakers and production companies. 

Look for documentaries with positive reviews, high ratings, and a compelling synopsis.

Watching with subtitles if necessary

If you’re watching a documentary in a language you’re not fluent in, consider turning on subtitles to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the content. 

Many of the Best YouTube Documentaries offer subtitles in multiple languages, making them accessible to a global audience.

Engaging with the community

Don’t be afraid to engage with the community surrounding your favorite documentaries on YouTube. 

Commenting, sharing, and discussing the content with other viewers can enrich your experience and provide valuable insights and perspectives.


In conclusion, YouTube documentaries offer a wealth of educational and entertainment value for viewers of all interests and backgrounds. 

Whether you’re passionate about science, history, nature, art, or society, there’s a documentary on YouTube waiting to captivate and inspire you. 

By following the tips outlined in this article, you can enhance your documentary-watching experience and discover new worlds of knowledge and discovery.

Unique FAQs

Can I watch Best YouTube Documentaries for free?

Yes, the majority of Best YouTube Documentaries are available to watch for free with an internet connection.

Are Best YouTube Documentaries reliable sources of information?

Best YouTube Documentaries are well-researched and informative, it’s essential to critically evaluate the credibility of the source and cross-reference information when necessary.

Can I download Best YouTube Documentaries to watch offline?

Some of the Best YouTube Documentaries may offer the option to download for offline viewing, but this depends on the uploader’s settings and copyright restrictions.

Are there age restrictions on Best YouTube Documentaries?

Some of the Best YouTube Documentaries may contain mature content or themes, so it’s advisable to check the content rating or viewer discretion advised warnings before watching.

Can I support the creators of YouTube documentaries?

Yes, many documentary filmmakers accept donations or have merchandise available for purchase to support their work and future projects.

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