The annual counter-culture festival Burning Man at the Black Rock Desert was ruined after the devastating torrential downpours leaving thousands of people stuck with one dead. But there were also some participants that showed up when the rainfall started; three-eyed dinosaur shrimps.
These critters are no threat to humans and usually feed on plants, algae and mosquito larvae.
These Triops — oldest living relatives of Triops cancriformis — can be underground for years and roused by rainwater. They have a shield-like body and a third eye (used to detect light changes and infrared waves).
These tadpole shrimps were dormant on the surface of the deserts for days until the heavy rainfall woke them up making the place into a soggy hellscape with thick mud up to a foot deep.
After the festival turned into trouble, thousands rushed to get out of the place.
Videos on social media showed “burners” struggling across the wet grey-brown site, with some using trash bags as boots while others were stuck in the thick mud.
The events at the Burning Man festival were called off after the devastation followed by the rains.
Festival crowds were asked to shelter in place and conserve food and water after the heavy rains started Friday night, with more downpours forecast for Sunday.
Last year, the festival contended with an intense heat wave and strong winds.
Launched in 1986 in San Francisco, Burning Man aims to be an undefinable event, somewhere between a celebration of counterculture and a spiritual retreat.
The festival culminates each year with the ceremonial burning of a 40-foot (12-meter) effigy.
The road out of the festival site is a 5-mile (8-km) dirt road, and the traffic jam to leave was epic. Event organisers urged drivers to take it slowly and consider delaying their departure until Tuesday to reduce traffic. The temporary airport serving the festival was also reopened Monday.
The festival typically has a penultimate night send-off with the burning of a giant wooden effigy of a man, along with a fireworks show. Originally set for Sunday night, it was rescheduled for Monday night at 9pm Tuesday.