Two tiny cups of coffee, filled with water boiled on a tiny stove and poured over a tiny pinch of coffee grounds. A shrimpy shrimp, dipped in a shrimpy bowl of batter and deep-fried in a shrimpy pot of cooking oil. Baby chunks of chicken, grilled on baby skewers (they're actually toothpicks). These are but a few of the extra-small wonders found on Miniature Space, your new favorite YouTube channel.
Whoever's behind Miniature Space has been steadily publishing bonsai cooking videos for about two months, racking up five- and six-figure view counts on each of 26 total clips. He or she creates a dish that appear to be fully edible—the yakitori is made from real chicken; the sushi from real fish—with ingredients and utensils that are super small and cute as hell. "Welcome to miniature space channel," reads the channel's description, Google-translated from Japanese. "You have made a small miniature of cuisine you can eat."
Miniature Space makes miniature shrimp tempura.
And an adorable stack of quarter-sized pancakes.
Miniature Space makes sushi.
And pipsqueak french fries.
Tiny-ass Mentos in tiny-ass coke.
And the tiny-ass utensils used to cook it all.
Where are Miniature Space's thousands of fans coming from? Trawling the YouTube comments shows that many of them are simply connoisseurs of tininess—"Oh my god I absolutely LOOOVVE miniature stuff. Subscribed!!!!" reads one—or fans of the Japanese kawaii aesthetic.
A popular Reddit thread reveals an alternate possibility: people are watching Miniature Space videos because of ASMR, the name given to a tingling sensation some people experience while hearing quiet, tactile sounds like whispering or crinkling paper. "Goddamnit ASMR, I don't have time to be searching youtube for other adorable mini kitchen videos, I have work to do," one commenter wrote on Reddit's ASMR board today. Another responded reassuringly: "No search necessary! This channel has all the mini cooking you could ever need."
It wouldn't be the first time junkies were driven to seemingly strange places to get their kicks: tutorial videos for a Japanese just-add-water candy called Popin Cookin—which, incidentally, also looks like miniature food—have millions of views each, and are filled with comments espousing their pacifying auditory powers.
Even if you're not an ASMR person, it's hard to deny there's something calming going on here. See if you can avoid drifting into a peaceful reverie as you watch Miniature Space whip up some kawaii fried eggs.