Best Websites on the Internet WaitButWhy The Oatmeal Supercook OCEARCH Shark Tracker Apartment Therapy A Soft Murmur LEGO Videos Gravity Points Pottermore xkcd BuzzFeed "Comments" Sections The Toast The Onion Cracked Mental Floss HowStuffWorks Lifehacker Mix Space.com Imgur Animal Planet Kitten and Puppy Cams Zillow Google Maps Street View Wikipedia Giphy Wayback Machine The Oregon Trail Cool Websites WaitButWhy is one of my favorite places to spend time on the internet. His writing style is the perfect mix of informative and humorous -- making topics like the Fermi Paradox (the what?) My favorite posts of his include "Everything You Don't Know About Tipping," "The Great Perils of Social Interaction," and "Your Life in Weeks" (which has some awesome graphics in it, by the way). Even if you've read everything already, it's the kind of stuff you can read over and over again. Some of my favorite posts include: If you want to surf the internet in a semi-productive way -- but not so productive that you actually have to leave the house -- then check out Supercook. Believe it or not, LEGO has been creating hours of video content long before we saw them in theatres, and all of these videos are sorted by theme and story on its website. You already know BuzzFeed is a great place to waste time on the internet, but we're looking beyond the actual article here. It's fun to check out real estate in areas you might want to live -- and it's just as fun to check it out in places you'll probably never live, but would love to in a dream world. You didn't think I'd write a post on where to waste time on the internet without including Wikipedia, did you? Check out what websites have looked like over the years via Internet Archive's famous Wayback Machine.
There’s a lot of content out there about productivity — everything from hacks to shortcuts to tips and tricks for how to get more done in less time.
It’s all about the sprint, the checking things off the list, and the downloading of software that’ll block out any and all distractions.
But what about those times when you just want to surf the internet aimlessly? No one can be hyper-productive all the time, and studies have shown that taking deliberate breaks after periods of work is actually better for your productivity.
The question is, how do you spend those breaks? You could check your email, but that still counts as working. You could check Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, but there’s something so mundane about haphazardly scrolling through your peripheral friends’ photos.
We have a few better ideas. Here’s a shortlist of the most wonderfully entertaining places to waste time on the internet outside of email and social media. Get ready to bookmark your favorites.
Best Websites on the Internet
- The Oatmeal
- OCEARCH Shark Tracker
- Apartment Therapy
- A Soft Murmur
- LEGO Videos
- Gravity Points
- BuzzFeed “Comments” Sections
- The Toast
- The Onion
- Mental Floss
- Animal Planet Kitten and Puppy Cams
- Google Maps Street View
- Wayback Machine
- The Oregon Trail
WaitButWhy is one of my favorite places to spend time on the internet. Every week or so, a guy named Tim Urban churns out one, really long, really awesome article. (Seriously, they’re canonical. You can kill a lot of time reading just one of them.)
His articles are always fascinating, in-depth, and really well written. His writing style is the perfect mix of informative and humorous — making topics like the Fermi Paradox (the what?) approachable for someone like me who’d never heard of it before in my entire life. He writes about relationships, religion, outer space … pretty much everything.
My favorite posts of his include “Everything You Don’t Know About Tipping,” “The Great Perils of Social Interaction,” and “Your Life in Weeks” (which has some awesome graphics in it, by the way). He even wrote a great post on why procrastinators procrastinate, which anyone reading this article might want to check out.
The Oatmeal is another one of my absolute favorite places to spend time online. It’s a huge library of awesome content — some comprised entirely of graphics. Even if you’ve read everything already, it’s the kind of stuff you can read over and over again.
Some of my favorite posts include:
If you want to surf the internet in a semi-productive way — but not so productive that you actually have to leave the house — then check out Supercook.
Here’s how it works: You tell it which ingredients you have in stock in your home, and it’ll give you a big list of recipes you can make using just those ingredients. It’s a fun way to stay thrifty, clean out the fridge, and make sure food doesn’t go to waste.
Tracking sharks as they swim around the ocean may not be the most conventional way to waste time on the internet … but it might be the coolest.
The Track Sharker tool by Marine Research Group OCEARCH lets you track tagged sharks — who all have names, by the way — as they travel all over the world. You can even zoom in on a specific location to see which sharks are hanging out there and where they’ve been swimming and traveling for the past year. Go, Hilton, go!
If you’re even a little bit of a fan of home decor or DIY projects, this is a website you might find yourself spending hours and hours on. There’s a ton of awesome visual and written content on here. My favorites include their “before and after” series, their “small spaces” series, and the tours of people’s actual apartments and homes.
Plus, they have a whole lot of helpful articles giving tips on everything from how to redo your stairs to ideas for using that awkward space above your fridge. There’s no shortage of useful and fun information on here, making it prime for endless browsing.
When taking a break from your usual work grind, set yourself up for true focus with A Soft Murmur. This website is your customizable white-noise machine. Its dashboard, available as an app for both iOS and Android, gives you slidable volume bars for five different nature sounds: rain, thunder, waves, wind, and fire.
This website allows you to independently adjust the volume of each of its five sound effects, creating an outdoor ambience that resembles your favorite soothing activity. Turn on “Waves” and “Fire” for the sound of a beach bonfire. Turn on “Rain” and “Thunder” for the sound of a distant storm outside your house.
You might’ve seen the recent (and awesome) LEGO Movie, but did you know LEGO’s involvement in on-screen entertainment began much earlier than that? Believe it or not, LEGO has been creating hours of video content long before we saw them in theatres, and all of these videos are sorted by theme and story on its website.
For every pop-culture phenomenon to ever steal our attention, there’s a LEGO video series version ready to steal our hearts. Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Scooby Doo, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter … the list goes on. Tune into LEGO’s video channel and enjoy.
Gravity Points is a digital “pen” created by Akimitsu Hamamuro, and it is quite mesmerizing. The website simulates the effect of gravity by allowing you to plot small gravity centers across your screen. Then, even smaller floating objects will flock to these gravity centers and orbit them.
The more gravity centers you plot, the more these forces will start to compete, making your screen all the more chaotic. And yes, your gravity points can absorb one another to create a black hole. It’s outer space right there on your computer screen.
As a marketer, you might dive so deep into branding your business, you have no time to brand yourself. Even if you’re not a massive Harry Potter fan, Pottermore can scratch that itch for you.
Pottermore is widely recognized as the official website for finding your Patronus, your wand type, the Hogwarts House you belong to (of course), and much more. The quizzes you take to earn these identities are just obscure enough to hold your excitement for the result, and might even encourage you to read (or reread) the famous Harry Potter books — something you should definitely do to balance out your time-wasting website sessions.
If you’re into nerdy humor even the littlest, tiniest bit, there’s a lot to love about xkcd. Each post features a short, stick-figure comic strip on humor about technology, science,…