Giant baubles hurtle through London’s Tottenham Court Road


LONDON – ‘It was the month before Christmas.

Throughout the city revelers mingled; the lights looked nice.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere – giant ornaments jumped near Soho Square.

The scene looked straight out of a dystopian holiday film as two huge, silver spheres hurtled towards people on one of the busiest streets in the British capital, propelled by howling winds and driving rain. Cars and bikes swerved off the road.

The balls gradually shed their mirror-like coating until a core of white remains, according to videos recorded by onlookers and shared on social media.

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While many assumed the baubles were giant Christmas baubles that had somehow come loose 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 promoting a music duo’s new album.

The installation, which has been named “Four World Set” and was created by American artist Tom Shannon, was set up on Sunday evening and was due to be on display until Saturday at St. Giles’s Square, near Tottenham Court Road.

Online, the footage sparked reactions ranging from apparent joy to absolute disbelief, as some wrote songs and poems to bullets running amok.

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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 impede people’s movements. Others joked that the scene reminded them of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” when Harrison Ford, who plays Indiana Jones, is chased down a tunnel by a giant boulder.

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“Imagine going home and telling how you almost got run over by a giant bullet Indiana Jones style and no one believed you until this video,” wrote one Twitter user. “Life is really weird right now,” another wrote simply.

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For those behind the installation, the news hit harder. Musician Kai Campos, one half of electronic music duo Mount Kimbie, said he was “devastated” after the wind caused at least two of the bullets to dislodge.

He said the team responsible for it had “prepared for bad weather and high winds but just got really unlucky.”


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