Not only is it the most-viewed video on the platform, a record it set in November 2020, but it’s now the only video on the site to reach 10 billion views, YouTube confirmed to CNN. The kids’ song, masterminded by South Korean educational company Pinkfong and performed by Korean-American singer Hope Segoine, debuted in 2016 and was a viral hit in Asia but didn’t jam itself into Americans’ collective consciousness until 2019. Since then, it’s been turned into a Nickelodeon TV show, a cereal, a live show and the rallying cry of the Washington Nationals throughout their World Series-winning season. It even made the Billboard Top 40 at one point and inspired the Jamie Tartt chant on Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso.”
YouTube’s most-watched video depicts two real children demonstrating the “Baby Shark dance” while the titular animated shark and his family — including a mustachioed “Grandpa Shark” — swim serenely and later attempt to hunt the kids. They fail, though, and the kids celebrate their safety while the sharks watch from afar, forks in fin.
Its success was somewhat accidental: In 2019, Pinkfong’s US CEO Bin Jeong told CNN the company hadn’t expected the clip to take off the way it did, saying, “the ones that make it, make it on their own.”
To celebrate the most recent “special milestone,” Pinkfong invited kids all over the world to share their “Baby Shark Dance moments” with the company.