A world of words
An image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.
Harlem Shake, the viral video which has sparked over 100,000 imitations, has been unique in the speed of its spread.
Since 2 February, when the video meme was born, 4,000 videos have been uploaded a day, over 700 million people have viewed the videos and the most popular, one of the versions by a Norwegian army unit, has got more than 40 million views.
The format is simple. The soundtrack is the song Harlem Shake by New York DJ Baauer. Each video lasts about 30 seconds. For the first 15 seconds, one person – often masked or in a helmet – dances in front of apparently uninterested people. Suddenly, the screen is full of people dancing energetically all dressed up with weird costumes.
The video allows you to be creative and to make it your own. For example, there is a cat version, another one which includes dancing sea lions and an underwater version.
In this Internet dance craze some may have gone too far, as the teacher in Wales recently suspended, who is being investigated for behaving in an “unacceptable way”, or the group of 15 Australian miners fired for breaking safety rules after performing an underground version.