Harlem Shake video meme sweeps through internet - CBS46 News

Shaking, gyrating 'Harlem Shake' takes over net

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A trio of firefighters do their own take on the Harlem Shake. (Source: YouTube user cocksmith378) A trio of firefighters do their own take on the Harlem Shake. (Source: YouTube user cocksmith378)
Usually a person in a motorcycle helmet, or mask, starts off the dance. (Source: YouTube user TheSunnyCoastSnake) Usually a person in a motorcycle helmet, or mask, starts off the dance. (Source: YouTube user TheSunnyCoastSnake)

(RNN) - In what is one of possibly the strangest video trends to sweep the web, the Harlem Shake is taking over YouTube.

The videos all share the same music by artist Baauer, and are about 30 seconds long. They involve one person dancing, most often in a helmet or mask, while other people sit around going about their day - but then it all changes when the music drops.

Shaking, gyrating and pelvic thrusting seem to be the dance moves of choice for the participants, who are often suddenly in their underwear or some other strange costume, like the firefighters seen in this video.

The trend seems to have started with a video posted by Filthy Frank, YouTube user DizastaMusic, where four people dance around in strange costumes - a ninja, a Power Ranger, an alien and a random pink body suit.

The idea took off and user TheSunnyCoastSkate did their rendition - a bunch of guys dancing around what appears to be a dorm room (warning, one dancer is in his boxer-briefs). User PHLOn Non shortly followed with the most popular video so far - a bunch of guys dancing around in their underwear with 1 million views and counting. Why people want to dance in their underwear on the web is puzzling.

The Harlem Shake is also the name of a popular hip hop dance. According to Google Trends, searches for the Harlem Shake have skyrocketed since January. They once peaked back in 2005, attributed to the original dance - but the term fell back under the radar to recently resurface with Bauer's music.

So far the Harlem Shake has been done by pets, a banana and attributed to the classic Peanuts characters. It's even shown up on Brazilian TV show SIC Radical when the whole camera crew gets down.

Much like the Gangnam Style dance craze, companies have also jumped on the bandwagon, with CollegeHumor, Buzzfeed, Maker Studios and clothing designer Danny Nguyen getting on board - once again with copious amounts of people in their underwear, this time female.

And in a true testament to the sense of time on the internet, the trend is already getting old with some users, who only a couple of weeks later have posted their own videos - this time sleeping while the music plays.

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