According to videos captured by onlookers and shared on social media, the orbs gradually peel off their mirror coating until a white core remains.
Although many assumed they were giant Christmas baubles that somehow escaped during Storm Claudio, which hit France and the UK this week, they were part of a temporary art installation set up in central London to promote a music duo’s new album.
The installation, titled “Four Worlds Set” by American artist Tom Shannon, was set up on Sunday night and was meant to be on display in St Giles Square, off Tottenham Court Road, until Saturday.
Online, the footage prompted reactions ranging from some apparent joy to outright disbelief. Wrote songs and poems To orbs running madly.
🎶 Knock down the streets with oversized baubles
Watch the dome explode and vibrate
Waves of torn mylar shedding
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
All drivers in London are afraid
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la la-la 🎶 https://t.co/uLDqUq9bXO
— Avram Grumer 🎲 (@avram) November 1, 2022
For some, the orbs brought back memories of the 1960s British TV series “The Prisoner,” which featured a large white orb named Rover with the power to disrupt people’s movements. Others joked that the scene reminded them of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” when Harrison Ford, who plays Indiana Jones, chases a giant boulder down a tunnel.
“Imagine going home with a giant Indiana Jones-style bobblehead and how no one believed you until this video,” wrote one Twitter user. “Life is so weird right now,” wrote another simply.
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For those behind the installation, the news hit hard. Musician Kai Campos, one half of electronic music duo Mount Kimbie, said he was “heartbroken” after at least two of the orbs were dislodged by the wind.
He said the team responsible were “prepared for bad weather and strong winds but were really unlucky”.