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Forget Nemo: The Harlem Shake storms the Internet

February 08, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez

Winter storm Nemo is keeping many New Yorkers indoors, but it can't stop the Harlem Shake.

The Harlem Shake is an Internet meme that has spontaneously gone viral and might just be the perfect way for Northeasterners stuck indoors to pass the time. And to answer your first question: No, the Harlem Shake isn't just a dance move. We wish it were that simple.

Instead, the meme involves a group of people recording themselves in a room while the song "Harlem Shake" by Baauer, a New York DJ, plays. One person dances in a reserved manner while everyone else goes about their business.

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Then, about 15 seconds into the song, the bass drops and everything changes. In most videos, the camera cuts, and all of a sudden everyone is dancing out of control. Observe:

Some people rip off their shirts. Others do handstands. In one video there's a guy just punching a stuffed giraffe over and over. There's a ton of parodies already, including a cat version.

Although Baauer's song has been around for at least a year, the meme just recently took off. Most are giving YouTube and Twitter user Filthy Frank credit for starting the craze with this video (Caution: not safe for work).

In it, four people -- one wearing a "Power Rangers" suit, another a pink suit, one in an alien outfit and the fourth in a black suit with a mask -- dance kind of funny until the drop and then they, as you now expect, go berserk.

So there you go. Nemo might have you stuck indoors, but until it takes down YouTube or your Internet connection, you can watch and make your own versions of the Harlem Shake.

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