Giant baubles hurtle through London’s Tottenham Court Road


LONDON – It was a month before Christmas.

All over the city, revellers mingle; the lights look beautiful.

Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere – giant ornaments bounced around Soho Square.

The scene looks like a dystopian holiday movie, with two giant silver orbs swooping at people on one of the UK capital’s busiest streets, propelled by howling winds and heavy rain. Cars and bicycles are suddenly out of the way.

The spheres gradually shed their mirror coating until they left behind a white core, according to video taken by bystanders and shared on social media.

While many believe the orbs are giant Christmas baubles that somehow came loose during Storm Claudio, which hit France and the UK this week, they are part of a temporary art installation set up in central London to promote the musical duo The group’s new album.

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The installation, titled “Four World Set” by American artist Tom Shannon, was installed on Sunday evening and is expected to be on view in St Giles Square, near Tottenham Court Road, until Saturday.

Online, the video sparked reactions ranging from superficial joy to absolutely incredible as some write songs and poems to the mad sphere.

For some, the orbs evoke memories of the 1960s British TV series The Prisoner, which featured a large white orb called Rover with the power to hinder people’s movements. Others joked that the scene reminded them of Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Harrison Ford, who plays Indiana Jones, was chased into a tunnel by a boulder.

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“Imagine coming home and telling you how you got knocked down by a giant Indiana Jones style gadget, nobody believed you until this video,” one Twitter user wrote. “Life is really weird right now, ‘ another person simply wrote.

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For those behind the installation, the news came as a bigger shock. Kai Campos, half musician of electronic music duo Mount Kimbie, said he was “heartbroken” after the wind caused at least two spheres to loosen.

He said the team in charge of it “was prepared for bad weather and strong winds, but was really unlucky.”


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