Giant baubles hurtle through London’s Tottenham Court Road

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LONDON – It was a month before Christmas.

In the whole city, they rejoiced and mingled; the lights looked good.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere – giant fireworks exploded near Soho Square.

The scene looked like something out of a dystopian holiday film as two large, silvery orbs hurtled towards people on one of the busiest streets in the British capital, driven by strong winds and rain. Cars and bikes swerved off the road.

The orbs gradually shed their glassy coating until a white core remained, according to videos captured by onlookers and shared on social media.

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While many assumed that the orbs were giant Christmas balls that were somehow loose during Storm Claudio, which hit France and the United Kingdom this week, they were part of a technical installation set up in central London to promote the duo’s new song.

This installation, called “Mane World Set” and created by the American artist Tom Shannon, was installed on Sunday evening and was to be displayed until Saturday at St. Giles’s Square, off Tottenham Court Road.

Online, the images sparked reactions from apparent joy to complete disbelief, like others. wrote songs and poems there are orbs running amok.

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For some, the orbs brought back memories of the 1960s British TV series “Prisoner,” which featured a giant white ball called Rover with the power to stop people from walking. Some joked that the scene reminded them of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” where Harrison Ford, who plays Indiana Jones, is chased down by a large rock.

“Imagine going home talking about how you almost got run over by a giant monster, Indiana Jones style, and no one believes you until this video,” one Twitter user wrote. “Life is so 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 electronic music duo Mount Kimbie, said he was “disappointed” after the wind caused at least two of the orbs to come loose.

He said the team had prepared for “bad weather and strong winds but it was just luck.”



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