Going to great lengths to congregate with strangers and carry out random acts - a craze known as flashmobbing - might not be everyone's idea of fun. But 3,500 of its followers have just proved that the phenomenon is reaching record-breaking levels.
The participants gathered on the concourse of Paddington Station in London on Thursday evening, having received instructions on the internet to bring iPods loaded with the clubbers' anthem "What You Do" by Biig Bass. At 7.18pm precisely they began dancing with as much abandon as they could muster.
One commuter, Danny Clifford, said: "It was the most bizarre and surreal experience of my life. The clock hit 7.18pm and suddenly the place erupted. Everyone was plugged into their MP3 players so there was no music to be heard."
It was believed to be the biggest gathering in the history of flashmobbing, a craze that began in New York in June 2003 when about 100 people arrived at Macy's department store with instructions to tell staff that they were part of a commune who had come to buy a "love rug".
The first such event in Britain was a meeting outside a sofa shop in London in August 2003, where people spoke English without the letter "o". At Liverpool Street Station in October this year hundreds of people confused commuters by dancing in collective silence.Reuse content