Manchester Supermarket Flash Mob, 2007
This flash mob, which took place in Manchester, England, on March 14, 2007, gets the "mind-blowing" designation in part because a YouTube video of the event has been viewed more than 6 million times over the past four years. And it's no wonder. The video, which credits three University of Manchester students -- Ben Cooper, Thomas Cousins and Lucy Mans -- captures several dozen supermarket shoppers attempting a mass freeze frame for about four minutes.
As the scene opens at around 5:30 p.m. on that Wednesday in March, everyone in the supermarket appears to be shopping normally. Suddenly there's the sound of a train going by, and by the time the sound passes, about 50 supermarket customers have frozen in place examining produce, talking with friends -- some are even lying on the floor or sitting in shopping carts. Non-participating customers step gingerly around the mannequinlike freeze-framers, who don't budge until a whistle blows several minutes later, and the whole performance ends as suddenly as it began.