Giant baubles hurtle through London’s Tottenham Court Road

Explanation

LONDON – It’s been a month since Christmas.

Revelers mingled throughout the city; the lights looked beautiful.

Then suddenly, out of the blue, giant ornaments swung near Soho Square.

The scene looked straight out of a dystopian holiday film, with two large, silver balls being launched towards people on one of the British capital’s busiest streets. Cars and bicycles were thrown off the road.

According to videos captured by onlookers and shared on social media, the balloons gradually shed their mirror coating until a white core remains.

While many thought the orbs were giant Christmas bottles that somehow got loose during Storm Claudio, which battered France and the UK this week, they were part of a temporary art installation in central London to promote the music duo’s new album.

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The installation, called Four Worlds Set and created by American artist Tom Shannon, was installed on Sunday night and will be on display at St Giles, off Tottenham Court Road, until Saturday.

The footage sparked reactions online that ranged from apparent joy to absolute disbelief for some wrote poems and songs to the tired balls.

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For some, the balloons were reminiscent of the 1960s British TV series The Prisoner, which featured a large white balloon named Rover with the power to stop people from moving. Others joked that the scene reminded them of Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Harrison Ford, who plays Indiana Jones, is chased through a tunnel by a giant rock.

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“Imagine falling into a giant Indiana Jones-style bottle on the way home and no one would believe you until this video,” wrote a Twitter user. “Life is really weird right now,” wrote another.

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For those behind the installation, the news hit harder. Musician Kai Campos, one half of electronic music duo Mount Kimby, said he was “heartbroken” after the wind caused at least two orbs to come loose.

He said the team responsible had “prepared for bad weather and strong winds, but were really unlucky”.



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