Time has run out on ‘Unus Annus’ but reporter takes lessons learned with her

Team Unus Annus 10 minutes before the final stream. From left to right Mark Fishbach, editor Brent Lilley, editor Amy Nelson, Ethan Nestor, editor Evan (no last name given).

Team Unus Annus 10 minutes before the final stream. From left to right Mark Fishbach, editor Brent Lilley, editor Amy Nelson, Ethan Nestor, editor Evan (no last name given).

What if you only had one year? Would you use that time wisely, or would you overestimate your time?

These are the ever-looming questions posed by the YouTube channel, Unus Annus or, translated from Latin to English, One Remarkable Year.

Mark Fishbach and Ethan Darling-Nestor started the channel Unus Annus one year ago on November 15, 2019. The pair created this self-destructing channel to press the idea that time is limited and death is inevitable. The opening words of Unus Annus’s first video set up the theme for the year to come.

We live our lives taking each second for granted but what would you do if you knew how much time you had left?

Throughout the year, Ethan and Mark challenged themselves to go further beyond what they thought they could do. “We took each day on as a new adventure, an opportunity to learn, to grow, to step out of our comfort zones. Whether it was being pepper sprayed, or making breakfast with the unlikeliest of tools, this defined Unus Annus,” Ethan wrote in his letter to the channel. But by the end of the year, it seemed to grow more cryptic and emotional.

Friday, November 13, 2020, marked Unus Annus’s death.

At face value, Unus Annus was a simple channel where two idiots tried to live life to the fullest. But as the year went on, Unus and Annus became separate characters from Ethan and Mark respectively, and as the clock ticked on, Unus and Annus took over more and more.

Time’s up, it’s been quite a year hasn’t it? Now it’s over. A year is many things, but it’s not forever. There are no second chances, no do overs. You had your one year. Now it’s over. It’s finally time to accept the truth.” Unus and Annus explained to Ethan and Mark over their walkie talkies with just 13 days left.

This was a simple reminder that time was running out and we had to use it wisely.

And boy did people use it. The Unus Annus fandom is a bustling community full of creativity. Whether in art, songs, stories, or theories the community has no end to their potential just as Unus had told us in This Is Goodbye.

In the final stretch we got to experience many fun things, one of the most notable being Camp Unus Annus. A week full of videos of Mark and Ethan having fun in the woods building tents, playing team building games, learning about the dangers of nature, running from bears, and hunting for the ever-illusive HeeHoo. The viewers took to the idea of Camp Unus Annus very quickly. Everyone made their own character that would go to camp, found a camp buddy as to not break the buddy system, determined what cabin they’d be in, and of course sold out the merchandise for camp.

Unus Annus has become a big part of many people’s daily lives and brought people together in a wonderful way. For myself, I made many friends in my one year. I even written a story for everyone at camp that was extremely well received. And as the end drew closer, I realized Unus Annus was a comfort channel. Over the year I grew more attached to Mark and Ethan even though I’d been watching them both for years before on other channels.

Now in a way, I understand how precious time is for all of us. Ethan and Mark gave an entire year away to us, and now they’re both jumping back into work on their own channels without much of a break. Even as the channel came to an end, I wasn’t ready. Days after I was still mourning. I didn’t believe I used my time wisely. There were some Unus Annus videos I hadn’t seen, I still had an unfinished story people were waiting on; the clock’s run out and there’s still things I need to do.

We live our lives taking each second for granted, but the end isn’t something you need to fear anymore. We did this year to the fullest. I was happy to walk onto the set today, we did our best, and everyone took it to heart. That’s all I wanted. See you on the other side. Memento Mori, Unus Annus. We’ll always have the memories, and the merch of course. Mark Fishbach.