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YouTube's hottest videos of 2013

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YouTube welcomed us to 2013 with some wisdom from a 10-year-old, the Kid President.

"I think we all need a pep talk," he says. "The world needs you to stop being boring."

More than 30 million views later, that same optimism may not persist, but the oddity of heeding advice from a third-grader in a suit actually proved among the more normal experiences we'd find online in 2013.

"Dog goes woof. Cat goes meow. Bird goes tweak. And mouse goes squeak."

Yes, more people watched video of a man dancing to techno in a fox mask this year than anything else on the Internet.

"These are not like the things we're accustomed to seeing on the radio and on TV and other places," said Kevin Allocca, YouTube's head of culture and trends. He studies viewing-liking-sharing-commenting trends.

And if this magnificent nonsense tallying 277 million views seems perplexing to sensible American eyes and ears, then surely we find the colossal popularity of Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two moving trucks. Inexplicable.

"We forget sometimes we're talking about a global pop culture," Allocca said.

Eighty percent of YouTube's views came from outside the United States this year, catapulting two videos from Norway to first and second on the list of the year's most popular.

If you missed the Harlem shake video fad you likely reside beneath a sizeable bolder.

"So many of these videos you can make on your own, you can post a comment, you can share so easily," Allocca said.

Harlem shakes clogged the Web last spring, but only after the debut of an elaborate coffee shop prank, Saturday Night Live's YOLO anthem, and a highlight reel of bad NFL lip readings ("I found Fido. Hey! I found Fido").

As always comedy routines dominated YouTube's list of the year's most-viewed videos. But so, too, did a familiar cast of characters.

"These are people who have posted things regularly and have begun to build an audience," Allocca said.

"Was that a verse? Or did you just get the hiccups?"

Mozart versus Skrillex -- part of the "Epic Rap Battles of History" series -- totaled only the 10th-most views this year with 42 million.

As 2013 draws to a close, sneaking onto this list should prove difficult. But we do have one dark horse, just released earlier this month. Rebecca Black's "Saturday" still needs more than 35 million views to sneak into the top 10.

But hey, we've seen weirder.

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