Giant baubles hurtle through London’s Tottenham Court Road


LONDON — It was the month before Christmas.

All over the city there was a great deal of excitement; the lights looked beautiful.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere – huge decorations hit near Soho Square.

The scene looked straight out of a dystopian holiday movie as two large, silver orbs swept through people on one of the UK capital’s busiest streets, propelled by howling winds and driving rain. Cars and bikes swerved off the road.

The orbs continued to shed their mirror coating until a white background remained, according to videos taken by onlookers and shared on social media.

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While many thought the orbs were giant Christmas baubles that somehow got loose during Storm Claudio, which hit France and the United Kingdom this week, they were part of a temporary art installation set up in central London to promote the band’s new album.

The installation, entitled “Set of Four Worlds” and created by the American artist Tom Shannon, was installed on Sunday night and was to be displayed until Saturday in St. Giles’s Square, off Tottenham Court Road.

On the Internet, the moving image has caused reactions ranging from apparent delight to complete disbelief, as some say wrote songs and poems to the fleeing orbs.

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For some, the orbs bring back memories of the 1960s British television show “The Prisoner,” which featured a large white circle called the Rover with the power to block people’s movements. Some joke that the scene reminds 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 going home and reporting that you almost missed a giant, Indiana Jones style, and no one believed you until this video,” said one Twitter user. “Life is really amazing right now,” wrote another, simply.

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

He said the team in charge “prepared for bad weather and strong winds but got lucky.”


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