The video sharing website's story begins with a short video of a guy at a zoo admiring the elephants and their "really, really, really long trunks."
Ten years later, YouTube has turned into a billion dollar video sharing juggernaut and one of the most visited websites on the Internet. Meanwhile, the first video ever posted on the site ten years ago today is nearing 20 million views.
In the 18-second video -- entitled "Me at the zoo" -- YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim stands in front of the elephant enclosure and delivers a quick message about how the elephants have "really, really, really long trunks," which he thinks is "cool."
The video is grainy and a far cry from the slick high-definition videos seen on the site today. It was, however, an important first step in what would become a company that changed the way media is consumed and enabled anyone to build a following and become a star.
Today, as much as 300 hours worth of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Although Karim left YouTube early to get a graduate degree in computer science, he earned a windfall for his work on the site when it was acquired by Google in 2006.
The New York Times reported Karim received 137,443 shares, which were worth around $64 million at the time of the deal.