It was the moment that sparked a mass of memes.
During his trip to Saudi Arabia this weekend, President Donald Trump placed his hands on a glowing white orb beside two other world leaders, sparking jokes, memes, and sci-fi comparisons among some Twitter users.
The moment came Sunday, when Trump — along with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and Saudi King Salman — walked along a (quite large) red carpet to enter a dark, circular room as dozens of people followed them.
With the lights dimmed and a techno beat blaring in the background, the three leaders sidled up to the orb before touching it for about a minute as videos played on several large screen TVs.
So what exactly was this orb, and why were three powerful leaders touching it for so long?
Despite the jokes online, the ceremony marked a serious topic. The glowing sphere, which was actually a globe, was part of the inauguration ceremony for the state-of-the-art Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Trump referenced the center in a speech he made earlier that day, calling it a “groundbreaking new center [that] represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization.”
Trump helped to inaugurate the site by placing his hands on the orb, which officially activated the center and launched a splashy welcome video, according to wire reports.
During the ceremony, an unnamed host described the prominent collection of TV screens in the center as a dashboard of artificial intelligence information tracking online sentiments. He said the center has 350 technicians in the main room, and includes a media monitoring system that can monitor 100 TV channels in 11 different languages, according to a pool reporter.
A pool reporter said the atmosphere during the ceremony felt like a “television game show set,” as the room was lit only more about three dozen whirling blue spotlights.
The project began two years ago, before Trump took office, according to the Associated Press.
The move led to led to jokes of all kind online:
Candidate Trump: I pledge to never touch The Orb of Darkness.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) May 21, 2017
President Trump: pic.twitter.com/j4PIbkM1hJ
I've been told the orb is called Loc-Nar and is the embodiment of all evil pic.twitter.com/LCLzBhWBRn— Bullneck (@Bullneck) May 21, 2017
The president of America is coming. Prepare the Orb.— DaveAnthony (@daveanthony) May 21, 2017
just some billionaires gathering in the dark and holding a glowing orb. probably fine— jon hendren (@fart) May 21, 2017
The orb of evil tells them which country to destroy next pic.twitter.com/AFkN0U5qcS— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) May 21, 2017
trump 100% made a wish when he touched the orb pic.twitter.com/S0TlxgxtBY— KRANG T. NELSON (@KrangTNelson) May 21, 2017
big deal some guys put their hands on a glowing orb it's not like they're going to get super powers oh my god this is how space jam started pic.twitter.com/3rGPNr4yPD— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) May 22, 2017
I like this one guy who got the warning not to look directly at the orb, lest his face melt like in Raiders of the Lost Ark. pic.twitter.com/nI4um3KVhP— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) May 22, 2017
It's days like today when I'm glad I get the fish-wrapper pic.twitter.com/0q6ydvh6VQ— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) May 22, 2017
The jokes even sparked the official Twitter account of the Church of Satan to note that, no, the move was not a Satanic ritual.