According to videos captured by onlookers and shared on social media, the orbs gradually shed their mirrored coating until a white core remains.
While the orbs were thought to be giant Christmas baubles during Storm Claudio, which hit France and the United Kingdom this week, they were part of a temporary art installation erected in central London to promote a music duo’s new album.
The installation, called “Four World Set” and created by American artist Tom Shannon, was erected on Sunday night and was on display until Saturday at St Giles Square, off Tottenham Court Road.
Online, the footage elicited reactions ranging from apparent joy to outright disbelief, as did some Wrote songs and poems To make orbs turn shiny.
🎶 Decorate the street with oversized baubles
Watch the spheroids bounce and wobble
Waves of broken Mylar shedding
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
All London drivers are terrified
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la la-la 🎶 https://t.co/uLDqUq9bXO
— Avram Groomer 🎲 (@avram) 1 November 2022
For some, the orbs evoked memories of the 1960s British TV series “The Prisoner,” in which a large white orb named Rover displayed the power to disrupt people’s movements. Others joked that the scene reminded them of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” when Harrison Ford, playing Indiana Jones, was chased down a tunnel by a giant boulder.
“Go home and tell how you escaped with a giant bauble, Indiana Jones style, and no one believes you until this video,” one Twitter user wrote. “Life is really weird right now,” wrote another bluntly.
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For those behind the installation, the news hit harder. Musician Kai Campos, one half of the electronic music duo Mount Kimbi, said he was “heartbroken” after at least two orbs were blown loose by the wind.
He said the team responsible had “prepared for bad weather and strong winds but it turned out to be really unlucky.”