Call it the Two Dollar Grand Prix. Of all the rabbit holes to wander down on Facebook at 3 a.m., this video was the rare standout among Russian dashcam crashes and extreme dyno pulls.
As one of nearly 62 million people to view this marble racing video, I came away questioning why it was so enjoyable. No cars, no drivers, no rules, and no hype. All the standard hooks are missing.
To my insomnia-driven eyes, it didn’t matter. Not one bit.
Transfixed by 33 marbles—the same number of starters in the Indy 500—using gravity to race down an endlessly long squiggle-course stamped into a muddy hillside, I found myself rooting for one contender more than the others. Why? No clue, but that’s what we do.
And it was awesome, and there were surprises, not to mention a few forks in the road that forced changes at the head of the pack. Only as the video drew to a conclusion did I finally figure out the marble race comes with narration; the tiny glass spheres even have names—akin to a horse race. I preferred the silent version .
A dozen rungs below slot car and RC racing, we have the no-tech sporting enjoyment of marbles. I just might need to invest in one and start my own team. What kind of prize money does it pay?