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Offbeat Stories

Tampa Bay's best viral videos of 2013


Published:   |   Updated: December 31, 2013 at 02:30 PM

Let us look back on all the pop culture that YouTube has bestowed on us in 2013.

Before this year, a “Harlem shake” was a mostly-forgotten dance move popularized by P. Diddy back when he was still Puff Daddy. Now it's a phenomenon participated in by everyone from Steven Colbert to the Norweigian Army.

It was a boon for animal noises too. This was the year we discovered goats can scream like humans, and the year we dared to ask “What Does the Fox Say?”

If you need assurance that more people are watching online videos than ever, just consider that PSY's “Gentleman” video had close to 600,000,000 views on YouTube and was considered a flop after the 2012 success of “Gagnam Style.”

The Tampa Bay area wasn't left out of the action either. From celebrities throwing awful pitches at Rays games to our locally-grown Harlem shakes, here are our favorite viral videos that came out of the Tampa Bay area this year. Click the links to view the videos.

Carly Rae Jepsen throws “worst pitch ever” - The “Call Me Maybe” singer probably wished she could have had another shot at throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a Rays game because she immediately threw her hands over her face in embarrassment (and we had a similar reaction of slapping our foreheads).

Tampa firefighters rescue kitties - Seeing big, brave firefighters petting little cats as they hold tiny oxygen masks over their whiskered faces is the definition of video gold.

Woman freaks out on flight - This unidentified woman's epic meltdown, in which she reportedly screamed “God you're my savior!” for close to 20 minutes, shows she was apparently very nervous about the landing part of this flight into Tampa. The video was a headline around the world.

Crazy parkour through USF campus - Who needs a bicycle or a skateboard to get around campus quickly when you have amazing moves like these parkour and free-running enthusiasts.

Young Jets fan yells at Bucs fan - It's no secret that football fans in the Northeast have a reputation for being a little hard on visiting fans, but this pre-teen Jets fan has learned the tradition at an early age.

Baby elephant born at Lowry Park Zoo - We dare you to find something cuter than 10-day-old elephant calf Mavi tromping through the elephant habitat at the Tampa zoo with her mother Matjeka.

St. Petersburg Harlem shake - There were many great Harlem Shake videos that came from the Tampa Bay area this year, but this one from Lakewood High School is our favorite based on pure intensity, Batman and the way the guy doing donuts in a wheelchair comes in at just the right moment.

Principal tackles student - A student recording a fight at Zephyrhills High School captured this dramatic image of Principal Andy Frelick breaking up the altercation, linebacker style. Later Frelick explained he hadn't meant to tackle the student, but tripped into him at the last moment. Either way, most of the comments on the internet praised his action.

Waterspout in Oldsmar - Nobody seems to remember a summer with as many waterspouts as 2013, or maybe it's just that everyone has a smart phone to photograph them now. Either way, this video of one that came ashore in Oldsmar is intense.

Panhandler has dance moves - You've heard the expression “dance like nobody's looking,” but this guy actually lives it. Despite less than ideal circumstances, he's got moves, energy, and from what we can tell, a great attitude that has garnered this video more than 100,000 views.

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