Cody Reeder has been uploading YouTube videos for the past few years. But he just recently struck YouTube gold: 250,000 subscribers to his channel. His format is simple: “Hi, Welcome to Cody’s Lab,” followed by his signature sign out, “I’ll see you next time,” as he offers a farewell thumbs up.
What he does in between includes exploding objects using myriad charges and explosives, working on his mine digging further and deeper, assaying ore, drawing maps and blasting rock using homemade blasting caps. In one early episode he spent hours with his girlfriend canyon digging his mine with a shovel. He says, “I’m going to see if my dad will let me borrow his earth mover so I can clear out the entrance.” According to his calculations it would require another 50 hours of digging at the pace he was going.
“Good news,” he says, “my dad said yes, so I’ll be driving the dozer up here and clearing out the entrance to the mine.” Cody’s “ranch” is his backyard and playground. It doesn’t appear that there is much to look at, just a lot of dry mountainside land and some cows. But Cody’s experiments and his imagination keep the episodes interesting and kept me watching one night for about three hours. At 250,000 subscribers YouTube was supposed to send Cody a silver play button, but it never arrived, so Cody smelted some silver he had mined from used electronics and other ore, and made his own. He now has over 500,000 subscribers.
Cody is studying Geology at Utah State University. In some episodes he appears to be at a house perhaps in Logan, Utah. He has already taken many chemistry classes, acquiring knowledge and skills he uses to produce his most famous videos where he makes gunpowder from his own urine, and mines highway dust for platinum. He hypothesized the dust would have a significant amount of platinum due to the degradation of catalytic converters from vehicles. He was right. He also mined diamonds from the road after a diamond blade was used to cut straight lines in the asphalt. Cody “harvested” the diamonds using his superior panning and filtering skills. He then used a series of filters and ended up with a few small diamonds. Cody’s enthusiasm is contagious.
Cody has been picked as a finalist for a Mars mission, so this might just the beginning of great things to come.