There's always some viral niche to be filled on the Internet, but if you were hoping to launch yourself into online fame and fortune by dissecting various snack foods, we've got some bad news for you: someone's already doing that.
Enter "The Food Surgeon," whose YouTube channel is grabbing the attention of thousands. Describing himself as "a culinary practitioner not qualified to perform surgery of any kind," the nimble-fingered food doctor films himself performing "surgery" on various foods.
So far, he has dissected a clementine and, most recently, successfully transplanted the filling of an Oreo into the body of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, creating a kind of Frankensnack. He describes the procedure as a "Reese's Peanut-Butter-Ectomy with Oreo Cream Transplant."
His videos are shot with surgical precision, though the operator's face is never seen.
NPR reports the culinary surgeon is a Seattle engineer named Jeff, who apparently refused to give his last name when speaking to them in a bid to maintain anonymity.
"I'd prefer to stay anonymous," he told Yahoo News. "My videos aren't about me; they're about the food, the sights, the sounds, and the tools. The less the focus is about the actual surgeon, the better."
Part of the genius of the Food Surgeon is his ability to create a spectacle that combines tension and anticipation with a clean, hyper-sterile aesthetic meshed with near-erotic images of food.
This is no accident. According to NPR, he's influenced by the phenomena of YouTubers discussing autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, which our own Isaac Saul wrote about in a recent article. ASMR involves a pleasurable response to very specific stimuli: in some, certain sounds, while in others, certain images or movements.
"There's always been something mesmerizing about watching skilled hands perform tasks while also listening to the sounds that they create," he explained to Yahoo, adding that "Evoking ASMR is an unintentional, but known, byproduct of the filming style."
"These videos create a hypnotic state in people," he told NPR. "That was part of why I wanted to do this."