The Axis of New Time Performance At The Olympic Closing Ceremony Looked Like It Was Straight Out Of 'The Matrix' & Twitter Was Mesmerized

During the Olympic closing ceremony, viewers were treated to a variety of stunning performances and spectacles, from K-Pop singers EXO and CL, to another Parade of Nations, to something called "The Axis of New Time," which — to pretty much everyone on Twitter and beyond — looked like something straight out of The Matrix.

NBC reporter and former Olympian Tara Lipinski said The Axis Of New Time was "meant to express the strength to rise above obstacles." But others weren't so sure about what they were seeing. Or what on earth it meant.

According to reporter Nick Miller of The Guardian, the Axis of New Time was "a performance of lighting and modern dance, to signify... well, what I’m not entirely certain, but there’s lots of flashing, which will presumably be pretty heavy for anyone with a hangover."

He went on to note the performance was "visually extremely impressive though. The entire middle, circular bit of the arena is basically being used as a giant screen, onto which is projected various forms of black and white light patterns, from a sort of swirling concentric circles effect to squares which the dancers leap about on, to an elaborate group of dots which seem to make the entire surface undulate."

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

In case you missed it, Miller's take on the performance was pretty spot on. Dancers, who were all dressed in black and white, danced and leaped and swirled around an ever-changing projection on the floor — a feature that's been a super trippy, super mesmerizing favorite of the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies thus far.

It was dizzying and spectacular. And kind of confusing. But, as it turns out, it did have more meaning than everyone thought. The New York Times reported that the ceremony's guidebook explained it as thus: "When the number becomes zero, the people of the future break free from the existing time and space, and arrive at a world no longer bound by gravity.” Which would explain the clock, and the lights, and the leaping. Right? Maybe?

Whatever The Axis of New Time was meant to mean, it was certainly mind-bending. And Twitter agreed.

It Was Definitely The Matrix

For many people, the movie The Matrix immediately came to mind, what with all the running and undulating colors and confusing plot. Was any of it even real?

And It Was A Little Bit Scary

Some people found it a bit scary, not only due to the intense music that was playing throughout, but also because it looked like something might pop out at any moment. (Maybe it should have been Psy, with a quick rendition of "Gangnam Style"?)

This Proves It

I Mean, Clearly

Black & White Version Of The Matrix

Fans of The Matrix know that the movie didn't have any black and white scenes like this. But The Axis of New Time performance did look like South Korea's take on the sci-fi movie.

It Was Clearly Breathtaking

While us folks outside South Korea may not have fully grasped the concept, I'm sure the meaning wasn't lost on the crowds at the closing ceremony.

Whatever the meaning was, it sure was breathtaking.

An Alternate Reality

If they did, it may explain where shirtless Tonga guy went. (Just kidding.)

Amazing Indeed

The performance not only told a meaningful story about overcoming obstacles, but it was also quite and impressive feat for the dancers involved. While I'm sure it look much more dizzying to viewers at home, the timing and precision of the dance must have taken a lot of practice. To be able to stay within your specific black or white box? And to do it all so perfectly time to music? Hats off to them.

And Dizzying, Too

The Axis of New Time may have been dizzying, and it may have looked like The Matrix, but it certainly was a beautiful way to close out the Olympic Games in South Korea.