"Gangnam Style" may still be the most-watched YouTube video in history, with 1.3 billion views, but now that Psy is retiring the routine
, new moves to supersede his famous — sometimes deadly
— Horsey Dance are popping up left and right across the Internet.
One actual contender is called the Harlem Shake. Although it's just now starting to make the rounds online, the dance move actually originated in the hip-hop culture of the 1980s. But that hasn't stopped college students, office workers, and morning television shows from appropriating the dance for the sake of page views.
The entire phenomenon appears to have started with a video uploaded on Jan. 30 that opens with the dance move and moves on to less entertaining things. In the two weeks it's been online, the video has attracted 7.7 million views.
Who can say why such a short, strange, innocuous video picks up online? Regardless, the premise of the Harlem Shake videos evolved into something even stranger, when another Youtube user posted another Harlem Shake video that has become the real deal.
It features a man wearing a motorcycle helmet, dancing alone, until the lyrics of the song kick in. Then, through a jump cut, everyone else in the room begins grooving as well.
The video already has six million views. It's being credited for really starting the viral phenomenon, and setting the rubric for the countless imitator videos to follow.
A blog post on the YouTube trends page gives credence to the second video. The site says that as of Feb. 11, about 12,000 "Harlem Shake" videos have been posted to the site, and those have already been watched more than 44 million times. There are more than 4,000 of these videos being uploaded to YouTube every day. And that number is expected to rise, the website said.
As the trend spreads, even media platforms have gotten in on the action. Buzzfeed, College Humor, Break, and The Chive have all posted videos.
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