Las Vegas Sphere’s Latest Animation Is Freaking People Out


Nearly five years after first breaking ground, Madison Square Garden’s Sphere at The Venetian Resort was finally unveiled in Las Vegas over the summer. The massive venue features the largest LED screen in the world on its outside. And although the animations featured on the upcoming music and entertainment venue’s exterior rotate regularly, an emoji-style face that recently took over the dome has definitely caught attention, for better or worse.

Since Friday, the 580,000-square-foot display has displayed an animated yellow emoji face, which appears to cycle through a range of expressions, in addition to occasionally dozing off and waking back up. As if the 366-foot-tall, 516-foot-wide dome wasn’t jarring enough to see on the horizon as it were, the emoji face has now added a fresh new layer of nightmare fuel.

Shortly after the face took over, Las Vegas Locally posted a video of the dome overlooking a sign for W Circus Circus Dr. on the platform formerly known as Twitter. “This is by far the best version of the Sphere Thingy,” the caption stated, questionably. 

This is by far the best version of the Sphere Thingy (? @ohcdee)

— Las Vegas Locally ? (@LasVegasLocally) September 16, 2023

As the latest sphere animation began to circulate online, people reacted with a combination of amusement and horror. “I would legit crash my car,” wrote one user, while another added that the sphere “should be nuked from orbit.” “The sphere in Las Vegas is a thing of evil,” someone else humorously summed up. “Stop putting a cute face on it to make me care.”

Others likewise had colorful, acerbic, and ironic reactions to bright yellow new overlord of Sin City, such as the face being the last thing you’d want to see when waking up early to it being the last thing you’d one to see while attending to some, uh, personal business, and so on. 

Got to get up early today. The Sphere is not helping. #Vegas

— Chris Gotch (@chrisgotch) September 15, 2023

Imagine cranking your hog in your Las Vegas hotel room and you look up and the video orb just staring at you like this

— Microplastics Explorer (@DiabolicalSpuds) September 18, 2023

I’ve turned a corner on this thing, I think it’s cool now.

— GarbageApe (@GarbageApe) September 17, 2023

This dumb fucking Las Vegas LED sphere is the only thing that makes me feel patriotic.

— Noah Garfinkel (@NoahGarfinkel) September 18, 2023

Though the sphere has been lighting up the Vegas skyline since July 4, the venue inside doesn’t actually open its doors until Sept. 29, 2023, when U2 kicks off a 25-show residency called U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere. The plan for the venue is to host four to six residencies each year, all the while evidently terrifying the rest of the city from the outside.

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