The videos last 31 seconds and feature an excerpt from the song “Harlem Shake” by electronic musician Baauer. Usually, a video begins with one person (often helmeted or masked) dancing to the song alone for 15 seconds, surrounded by other people not paying attention or unaware of the dancing individual. When the bass drops, the video switches to the entire crowd doing a crazy convulsive dance for the next 15 seconds.
As of February 11, about 12,000 versions of the popular Internet meme had been uploaded to YouTube, garnering over 44 million unique views. As of February 15, about 40,000 Harlem Shake videos had been uploaded, totalling 175 million views.