If you’re reading this, it’s already too late. You’ve missed your chance to see the videos that made up Unus Annus. Unus Annus was a YouTube project started by Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach and Ethan “CrankGameplays” Nestor. The idea was to upload a video every single day starting Nov. 15, 2019, and delete the channel after the full year. There was no monetisation of these videos, and they’re purely just for the conceptual idea of the project. An idea that seems so simple on the surface became something much bigger than the sum of its parts.
There has never been something quite like Unus Annus before, and I don’t think there ever will be again. Starting a project with the complete end so near to its own beginning is not something that has gained this sort of traction before. It isn’t the content of Unus Annus that made it special, it was the opportunity to see it while it exists. Both Fischbach and Nestor expressed that everything is temporary, including the channel, and everything must come to the end. Every video was made with this idea in mind.
Now, my previous description may give you that the content was heavy and serious. That could not be further from the truth. Most of the content was light-hearted, bizarre, absurd, and just downright fun. Some of it is a bit questionable, but it added to the fun of the project. Unus Annus was a creative outlet for not only Fischbach and Nestor, but also Fischbach’s girlfriend Amy Nelson. Nelson helped come up with a lot of the ideas for videos on the channel and played a big role in making sure everything ran smoothly. She was a crucial part of Unus Annus, just as much as the two men.
The final livestream for Unus Annus aired starting Nov. 13, and the channel was deleted at midnight PST on Nov. 14th. As I’m writing this, it is the day following the deletion of the channel, and I don’t know how to describe the emotions. Watching the stream turn black as the delete button was pushed felt complete, but also felt like I was holding my breath. Realizing I couldn’t watch the usual videos in the morning once I woke up was a jarring break in my morning routine. All of the jokes and videos I’d rewatch and laugh at were just suddenly gone. It was like they never existed. I know that this is how many other people felt as well.
Unus Annus became something so much more than what anyone expected. It became something beautiful to millions of people. It was something to look forward to being a part of every day, even though we knew it would come to an end. I think it became something more for the three of them and anyone who worked on the project as well. There is beauty in the shared experience of millions. This is something that only a small group of people will be able to keep with them and say that they were a part of.
I think Unus Annus taught me more than I thought it would. I stopped thinking about beginnings and endings being opposites. They are partners. You can’t have one without the other, because everything will end sometime. I will always remember Unus Annus because I was able to share this year with so many other people across the world. It’s what makes Unus Annus so special. It's the “Unus Annus”, the “one year”, that will last in the minds of over 4 million people.
If there’s anything I took away from this year, it’s to live life for every second. The channel’s tagline is “Memento Mori”. It means “remember death” or remember that you will die and so will everything else. Everyone has a finite amount of time, so spend it in ways that will make you happy with what you did with your life.
It may be too late for you to see Unus Annus for yourself. However, it’s not too late for you to take the message with you. Remember, things must come to an end. Spend your time in a way that you know would make yourself proud. Memento Mori.
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