Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs
Reddit — the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” — has something for everybody. It doesn’t matter what you’re interested in. Whether it’s popular and mainstream or niche and obscure, we can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find a community of other enthusiasts on Reddit. No joke — there are vibrant communities dedicated to everything from making cover art for fictional Billy Mays mixtapes to Photoshopping bird beaks onto bears. So rest assured, there’s something on Reddit you’ll like. The trick is wading through all the nonsense and finding the good stuff, so we compiled a modest list of the best subreddits Reddit has to offer.
Like reading about technology, but don’t care about Apple’s latest earnings report and the latest Facebook controversy? Skip your visit to /r/technology and head on over to Futurology. It’s all about the biggest, sexiest, and most ambitious technologies that humanity is currently working on. Exoskeletons, space travel, biohacking, transhumanism, gene therapy — you’ll find all of that and more in this sub.
This is an odd one, but it’s undeniably entertaining. The entire sub is run by bots and the text for titles, comments, and text-posts are generated using “markov chains” — a random process that’s “trained” from looking at real data. In other words, this sub is a place where algorithms attempt to mimic posts made by the users of various popular subreddits, and hilarity regularly ensues.
In this subreddit, people post clips of times when things appear to be going horribly wrong, but then disaster is somehow averted at the last minute. This can be anything — cars narrowly avoiding catastrophic accidents, miraculous recoveries from athletes, or even animals escaping from predators. You never know what you’ll find in this sub, but it’s always exciting.
This one is fun for the whole family. Basically, people take videos and GIFs of people rescuing animals, then run them in reverse to make it look like nonchalant animal abuse. It’s fantastic. Since you’re just watching a reversed clip and not a true depiction of the actual event, you don’t have to feel guilty about laughing when the guy stuffs a kitten down a sewer drain, lowers a kangaroo into a swimming pool, or drops a bear onto a trampoline and sends him flying up into a tree.
There are a lot of good animal-related subs on Reddit, but r/NatureIsFuckingLit is definitely the best place to go if you’re after fascinating, awe-inspiring, and downright impressive footage of nature. It’s basically Planet Earth’s greatest hits, conveniently presented in a smattering of pictures, GIFs, and short video clips. The community is also pretty hilarious, and the comments are almost as good as the posts themselves.
We tried not to put too many Default subreddits on this list, but /r/gifs is too great to overlook. As one of Reddit’s largest and most active subs, it’s filled with a nearly endless torrent of content from all over the web. And that’s what makes it great. On any given day, /r/gifs offers a glimpse into what’s happening not only on the internet, but also in the world at large. If something important, amazing, or memorable happened today, you can bet that a relevant clip of the event will end up in this sub. Viral video clips, crazy new technologies, art installations, natural disasters, breaking news, relevant moments in history — it’s all here, in the quickest and most easily digestible format possible.
If you like clips of people doing stupid and misguided things, then immediately regretting their decisions, then this sub is for you. It’s glorious — you can basically sit back and marvel at how dumb some people are, while simultaneously feeding your own ego and reinforcing the notion that your decision-making skills are vastly superior to that of the general populace.
Even if you’re not good enough at Photoshop to participate in the “battles,” this sub is definitely worth a visit. The premise is pretty simple: Users submit pictures that are ripe for Photoshopping, and then other members edit and remix the images before posting them in the comment thread. The results are almost always funny, and some are downright impressive. As an added bonus, the community also offers some of the best Photoshop tutorials in existence, making it a great place to hone your PS skills.
This sub is hilarious. Basically, users talk about memes like they’re stocks, and facetiously try to predict which memes will become popular (or fall out of favor), often with overly enthusiastic, trading floor-style exclamations such as “BUY BUY BUY!” or “SELL SELL SELL!” It’s mostly a jokefest, but buried beneath all the meta-hipster snark and satire, there’s also some good social commentary on trendsetting, virality, and internet culture. Then again, maybe we’re just reading into it too much.
Looking to broaden your horizons? IWantToLearn is the place for you. Users are encouraged to seek advice on a new hobby or skill they’re looking to acquire, and more than 165,000 subscribed members are there to help. Whether you’ve never played the piano before or you’re simply looking for tips and tricks to improve your musical dexterity, Reddit is here to help. Submissions are also tagged and color-coded by category — i.e., academic, art-music, sports — to help you find the appropriate thread to match your needs.
Probably the most famous subreddit, r/IAmA is a place for people from all walks of life to do informal Q&A sessions. AMAs — short for “ask me anything” — attract all sorts of characters, and are a great way to get firsthand knowledge about what it’s like to be a firefighter, a corporate whistleblower, a NASA scientist, etc. In recent years, the subreddit has even become famous for celebrity AMAs. If you want to hear Jeff Bridges’ advice on how to make a marriage last, or for some reason want to ask Patrick Stewart whether he’d prefer to fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses, those are opportunities you’ll find on r/IAmA.
Like history, science can be a difficult subject to study on your own. As such, why not seek the wisdom of experts? Answers on /r/AskScience are backed up by peer-reviewed sources, ensuring they will be trustworthy, and the rules stifle any attempts to take things off topic or spread misinformation. Whether you have questions on physics, biology, or any other aspect of the natural world, there is likely someone on this subreddit willing to provide an informed answer. A knowledgeable community and strict rules also help keep AskScience one of the most informative, civil forums on Reddit.
Visualization is a big part of conveying statistics to an audience of laymen. Data sets can be difficult to parse if one is not trained in statistical analysis, but a pie chart or line graph can communicate information about trends quickly and easily. For people who are enthusiastic about statistics or those who like to be able to grasp information at a glance, /r/DataIsBeautiful is a subreddit to subscribe to. The charts and graphs are usually of high quality, both aesthetically and methodologically. The subreddit rules also require that visualizations must link to the corresponding data sources, so it’s easy to scrutinize the methodology behind the stats. The subject matter covers a wide array of interests, including everything from charts of climate trends to statistical breakdowns of the latest television shows.
History can be a daunting subject. Not only is the body of knowledge vast, but history seems more prone to misinformation and political agendas than most subjects. Thankfully, AskHistorians enforces rigorous standards to ensure that any discussions are civil and intellectual. Many of the frequent contributors are verified historians from a wide range of backgrounds. And so whether you want to know about the organization of the Silk Road’s trade routes or read about the origins of Roman muscle armor, someone on r/AskHistorians will have a solid answer.
The internet has enabled a greater proliferation of music than ever before. From pop icons to obscure Mongolian throat-singers, it’s all theoretically just a few clicks away. With so much info flowing, however, the signal-to-noise ratio can be horrendous. How can one find musical pearls without wading through so much more muck? Audiophiles looking for music off the beaten path will find themselves at home on /r/listentothis, a community for sharing esoteric songs and artists. Posts are categorized in a variety of genres, some of which can be quite odd indeed. If terms like “jazzcore” and “djent” intrigue you, dive down the rabbit hole of /r/listentothis. Sort by “Top (All Time)” to find the submissions with the highest ratings.
If you don’t belong to a local book club, it can be difficult to find things to read. On /r/Books, you can find the latest information on popular books and authors, as well as discussions on literature from Homer to Jonathan Franzen. The subreddit regularly features Q&A sessions with notable authors including Jon Ronson, Gillian Flynn, and Patrick Rothfuss. Perhaps most importantly, r/Books follows the Sage’s Rule of Reddit, banning memes and other low-effort posts and requiring that comments maintain a basic level of human decency. Bookworms with an internet connection will find few online communities as nice as /r/Books to satisfy their literary needs.
Remember that running gag from the movie Dodgeball, where the dodgeball championship tournament aired on a fictional sports channel called “ESPN8: The Ocho“? Well, somebody decided to take that joke and run with it on Reddit. /r/TheOcho is a place where users post video clips and GIFs of obscure sporting events you’ve probably never heard of. Browse through the top posts, and you’ll find stuff like “shovel boarding,” “bike football,” and even “synchronized fingering” — which we promise isn’t nearly as dirty as it sounds.
There are a lot of places on the internet to get movie news, but far fewer are the places to talk in-depth about filmmaking. Fortunately, the TrueFilm subreddit provides a venue for discussion of films and the fundamental principles of the medium. The use of color in 500 Days of Summer, Kurosawa’s command of motion, whether Christopher Nolan is the next Kubrick; if these are the types of conversations you enjoy, the small but passionate community of TrueFilm is a great forum to check out. TrueFilm is part of the TrueReddit family of subreddits, dedicated to serious academia and discussion.
In a world in which speed and convenience reign supreme, people have lost touch with the skills their ancestors would be expected to master. Among these is the art of cooking, which has been driven into the realm of hobbyists by fast food and microwaves. There is a wholesomeness to preparing your own food, however, and forums such as /r/cooking are a great way to start learning. With recipes, infographics, discussions, and rules designed to keep the memes away, it’s a great tool to bring your cooking to another level.
Don’t let the awkward naming scheme (who really wants a phrase like “AnimalPorn” in their browser history?) scare you off. These subreddits provide high-quality photographs covering a variety of subjects. Abandoned buildings, wildlife, machinery, and of course, food; there are subs for all these and more. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or simply someone who wants some nice backgrounds for your desktop, these subreddits are a treasure trove.
For those who live in places where marijuana is legal or those who might just like a healthy theoretical discussion of the plant, /r/trees is one of the most popular places on the web to talk pot, smoking, or weed culture. When the Trees subreddit first came about, people actually looking for a tree forum ended up creating /r/marijuanaenthusiasts as a joke. The subreddit name stands to this day and has inspired other name swaps on the site, such as /r/potatosalad and/r/johncena. Though /r/trees can be meme-filled and juvenile at times — /r/eldertrees provides a more serious, grounded forum on the subject — it’s an active community brimming with original content.
Although not as popular as r/Gaming, r/Games is a far better place to go if you want a discussion about video games. This is largely due to the strong moderation. The result is a forum primarily composed of articles and discussions about the gaming industry and the technical aspects of the medium. Like many video game communities, r/Games can be prone to occasional bouts of mass hysteria, but strict rules and moderation keep things civil overall.
Indulge your creative side. With more than 5 million subscribers, /r/Writingprompts provides a space for writers of all kinds to come together and share their take on various prompts. Different days of the week feature different events. Sunday is “free write day,” for instance, while Monday spotlights a local writer from the community. The rules encourage serious responses and serious writing discussions, and even the most seasoned of wordsmiths can find room to improve on /r/Writingprompts.
Clothes make the man (or woman). Whether you’re going to a job interview, a nice dinner, or simply out for a walk, it never hurts to look good. Assembling a great wardrobe can be difficult, however, especially when it comes to pairing colors, making sure a piece of clothing is sized correctly, and knowing what’s acceptable for certain occasions. There is a lot to consider, and the slightest error can mean the difference between looking like Don Draper or an awkward teen on prom night. Moreover, it can be expensive. Don’t throw money away experimenting with various ill-fitting blazers. The sartorial zealots at the fashion advice subreddits provide a great community for learning about the principles of fashion while issuing advice on how to build the perfect wardrobe.