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LONDON – That was the month before Christmas.
All over the city revelers mingled; the lights looked nice.
Then suddenly, out of nowhere – huge ornaments ricocheted off near Soho Square.
The scene looked like something straight out of a dystopian holiday movie as two giant silver spheres hurtled towards people on one of the UK capital’s busiest streets, propelled by howling winds and pouring rain. Cars and bicycles gave way.
According to videos taken by viewers and shared on social media, the bullets gradually lose their mirrored coating until a white core is left.
While many assumed the baubles were giant Christmas baubles that somehow got 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 was used to promote a music duo’s new album.
The installation, called ‘Four World Set’, created by American artist Tom Shannon, was set up on Sunday evening and was due to be on display in St Giles’s Square, near Tottenham Court Road, until Saturday.
Online, the footage sparked reactions ranging from apparent glee to outright disbelief, as some have wrote songs and poems to bullets running amok.
🎶 Decorate the streets with oversized balls
Watch the spheroids bounce and wobble
Waves of shredded Mylar shedding
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
London’s drivers are all 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 was about a large white orb called Rover that could prevent 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 boulder.
“Imagine going home and telling how you almost got run over by a giant Indiana Jones style bullet and nobody believes you until this video,” wrote one Twitter user. “Life is really weird right now,” wrote another 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 “heartbroken” after winds caused at least two of the balls to become loose.
He said the team responsible for it “prepared for bad weather and strong winds but just got really unlucky”.