Updated: Wednesday, 11 Feb 2009, 11:41 AM CST
Published : Wednesday, 11 Feb 2009, 10:11 AM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - Shoppers at Whole Foods in Downtown Austin were a little confused to find 250 people frozen in place, depicting a snapshot in time. The people stood idly for five minutes in the prepared-foods section, some stuck in a position drinking their coffee, others with their phones up to their ears. If you find something odd is happening around you in Austin, chances are Flash Mob Austin organized it.
"A flash mob definition is a group of people that will gather during what seems to be spontaneously and then perform a brief action that's very unusual, and they disperse quickly," said Melissa Filkins, who started the Flash Mob Austin group.
While flash mobs are nothing new and can be found around the country, the one in Austin just started this summer. Still, many wonder, 'What's the point?'
"The point is, there is no point," said Filkins. "It's just to have fun."
The idea of having some odd fun is attracting hundreds to their events. The first mission was a pillow fight under the bat bridge this past summer where 100 people showed up to take part. The way you find out about the missions is through social networking sites.
"A lot of people who just searching the Web and kind of come across it," said Filkins.
Yet, participants do not find out what the mission is until that day.
"Anyone can do it, anyone willing to step out of their comfort zone for about five minutes," said Indiana Adams, with Flash Mob Austin. "It seems like a short enough time to make people go, 'What's going on?'"
During the Austin City Limits Festival last year, crowds of people walking down Sixth Street wondered what was going on when the group turned a stranger into a celebrity.
"People would say, 'Who is that?' And we would say, 'She's putting out an album this week,' or, 'She was in that Disney movie,' and people were like, 'Wow, thank you for telling me,'" said Filkins.
Flash Mob Austin meets the first Saturday of the month in
Park at 2:30 p.m. to figure out that month's mission.