Ever been victimized by a porch pirate plundering offers from your front door? Most individuals would contact Amazon for a refund or even the law enforcement.

But visualize you might be a prankish former NASA engineer with time on your hands and thousands and thousands of YouTube followers. Then what would you do?

Mark Rober experimented with a unique technique: glitter and fart spray.

Rober witnessed a brazen passer-by approach his entrance door and swipe a bundle from his Nest cam a few of decades back. When police unsuccessful to search for out the porch pirate, Rober set a entice: an innocuous Amazon box that when opened would unleash a flurry of glitter and fart spray on a thief all even though he filmed it using 4 diverse cameras.

“You could have to melt away the residence down to totally rid it of all the glitter, but at least it is really like no one particular acquiring damage,” reported Rober during an interview with United states Nowadays.

Rober’s fans know this as the “glitterbomb,” and his contraption has led to a enormous following on YouTube, exactly where he has amassed a lot more than 18 million subscribers. 

His most current take a look at of the glitterbomb features a new focus on: cell phone scammers. A online video posted in late March with far more than 33 million sights demonstrates Rober unleashing his creation of various people working as aspect of a phone fraud operation. 

“The only issue worse than a porch pirate is these spam rip-off calls, and I failed to entirely even realize how it worked,” said Rober.

But his channel is much more than just dousing unscrupulous persons with glitter and fart spray. He has just one online video the place he makes the greatest lemon battery, and yet another showcasing a sizzling tub stuffed with liquid sand

More than glitter: Who is Mark Rober?

Rober, who is a mechanical engineer, failed to established out to forge a vocation as a YouTube star. After school, Rober joined NASA in 2004 to do the job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, exactly where he worked on the Curiosity Rover despatched to Mars in 2011.

It was all through his tenure at NASA when he built his very first YouTube movie: a do-it-on your own Halloween costume featuring a pair of iPads operating FaceTime. The entrance iPad’s camera would show what was streaming from the again iPad, and vice versa, developing the illusion of a gaping gap via your physique.

“It is really so cringey, how I talked to the digicam, and the electricity amount, and the digicam angles, Rober recollects. “The online video was practically me handing my mobile phone to my wife and just currently being like, ‘Hey, movie this.'”

The online video drew millions of hits and captured the attention of nationwide media. 

“That high you come to feel from the first at any time movie just likely viral – due to the fact it was these kinds of a delta from absolutely nothing at all to a thing – I have form of been chasing that large ever due to the fact,” explained Rober.

Mark Rober, mechanical engineer turned YouTube star
That high you truly feel from the first-ever online video just going viral – because it was these a delta from certainly very little to something – I’ve kind of been chasing that higher ever since.

Rober inevitably moved on to Apple, in which he worked in the tech giant’s distinctive projects team. He stop in 2019 to emphasis on his YouTube channel complete time.

His mission with his movies is to get youthful individuals excited about science and engineering, luring them with amazing stuff these as a rocket-powered golfing club and then trying to “sneak the science in.”

“I will not go super in depth to any certain subject matter, but I retain it wide more than enough that even a person who’s doesn’t consider by themselves to be science or engineering-minded, it will make sense to them and they can experience excellent and stroll absent from it sensation smarter,” claimed Rober.  

Rober commonly drops a new movie just about every thirty day period, with movies prepared out months in progress. Rober states he has sketched out suggestions all the way to 2022. 

Between a person of his cooler creations: a job that started out as the “best squirrel evidence chook feeder,” which morphed into a “Ninja Warrior”-encouraged squirrel obstacle study course. 

In a online video very last September, he used eight months crafting an explosion with elephant toothpaste – or “devil’s toothpaste” as Rober phone calls it – a foam experiment involving hydrogen peroxide, yeast and dish cleaning soap.

The why of it – further than why not and simply because it is awesome – was to toss a kid named Fletcher, who had been combating a extremely scarce form of mind cancer, “the most epic birthday occasion ever,” Rober says in the video clip. “He’s this sort of a humorous child that I was so motivated by his hopeful attitude that, following talking for an hour, I secretly vowed that if he produced it to 13 yrs old, I would fly him and his household out and surprise him with just the dopest birthday bash at any time.”  

The task that has drawn the most awareness is the glitterbomb. It has even landed Rober in incredibly hot water. Immediately after that 1st glitterbomb online video aired in 2018, Rober mentioned he eradicated parts of the video clip following discovering some of the reactions have been staged.  

“Eventually, I am responsible for the content material that goes on my channel and I ought to have performed more here,” Rober wrote in an apology posted a few years back.

Rober pressed on with his creation, refining and reworking the glitterbomb for even bigger outcomes. The 2. model released in 2019 boasted a more pungent fart spray, biodegradable glitter, and the sound of a voice counting down from 5 proper right after deployment. Very last year’s 3. glitterbomb experienced a new casing with handles included in glue, far more canisters of fart spray with skunk essence, even additional glitter, and law enforcement-encouraged crimson and blue LED lights.

“Absolutely everyone enjoys these, probably other than for the precise package deal burglars them selves,” Rober said. 

Rober already has designs for glitterbomb 4., which he will expose all around Xmas.

“I want a superior reaction of someone like jumping back, being surprised and shocked by the box,” explained Rober. “So we have two new features this calendar year that will give me a better visual response of men and women leaping again and staying shocked and sho

Rober gets personal

The YouTube star has also opened up far more about his own daily life. In a video clip launched April 16, Rober talks about his son who is on the autistic spectrum.

“Even as I make this video clip, I am amazingly terrified, but this is something that my wife and I really feel actually strongly about,” he suggests to open up the video. Rober joined late-night converse clearly show host Jimmy Kimmel to host a livestream fundraiser called Shade the Spectrum to help the autism local community.

And their collaboration is just not finished. The two are working alongside one another on a new Tv set clearly show they program to movie afterwards this calendar year termed “Revenge of the Nerd,” the place they prank individuals who violate small social norms.

“They really don’t return their grocery cart? Perfectly, we motorized the grocery cart and chase them all over,” he stated.

He also has suggestions for people aspiring to make it big on YouTube: Really don’t do it to be rich and renowned.

“The right purpose to do it is because you want to categorical creativeness, or you want to study how to edit video clips, or you want to be in a position to talk and explain to stories because then what is deemed results, the bar is a great deal lessen,” he stated. “If your criteria for achievements is ‘you want to be loaded and well known,’ pretty several persons are gonna really feel prosperous in that.” 

Abide by Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.