We knew Burning Man was going to be a sight to behold, but we had no idea the sights would be so thought-provoking, to say the least. To be perfectly honest, the sights are pretty messed up and causes us to ask more questions than anything else.
If you’re not familiar with Burning Man, it’s an annual festival that takes place in the desert. People from all over the world come to express themselves artistically through their wardrobe choices, art exhibits, interactive sculptures, and other seemingly wild shenanigans. The event promotes the adherence to ten principles for attending, which includes rules such as cooperation, gifting, and leaving no trace. For a festival that’s full of artsy, laid-back folk, they’re certainly hard up on the regulations. It’s reminding us more of a cult gathering than an event that welcomes people voluntarily.
Regardless of their stipulations, people do tend to let loose and let their inner freak flags fly during this week long festival. The outcomes of this far out experience results in some very epic and pretty shocking images. What was once an adventure had between you, your friends, and the desert, is now shared with the world to be misunderstood by all. Don't forget to check out the bonus images at the end!
15 Serving Up Some Flambéed Squid
Get a look at that giant tentacled beast! This fiery visual may have just jump started a massive craving for sushi, but it’s also making us really confused. This part-octopus part-scuba diver part-pyrotechnic go-kart is an oddball, attached to some odd limbs, parading without purpose throughout the desert. Seeing this mobile Robo Squid up close and personal is both terrifying and appetizing, and we’re not sure which emotion we feel more. All we can say is that if we caught sight of this nautical nightmare on the city streets, we’d be running from our plates of sashimi and calling the military in for removal and mass evacuation, instead of analyzing its origins. Can you imagine the heat emanating from this thing? Not sure whether to feel amazed or scared.
14 From Victoria's Secret to Desert Princess
Leave it to the most freaky festival in North America to lure the crazy out of seemingly normal, and publicly sweet, humans of our world. The supernatural pull of the desert ignites something within its attendees, and for Candace Swanepool, that side turned out to be an desert flower princess just dying to be recognized. There is only so much dressing up you can do when you’re a Victoria’s Secret model, after all. Your wardrobe choices are limited and are entirely dictated by your boss. So, when an opportunity to get creative with your look is given to you (outside of the annual and always tacky Halloween) you grab at the chance to unleash a thrill you’ve been seeking at the one place where everyone else is also experimenting with their suppressed alter egos.
13 Stairway To Nowhere
This slightly interactive display is certainly interesting to look at – given its geometrical shapes, fancy cut-outs, and unreal background – but when you really think deeply about the meaning behind this structure, it’s bound to creep you out. First of all, why create steps that lead to nothing? What is with all the white? And the obscurity of the shapes? This is giving us some serious alien vibes, or at least creating some next-level thoughts of our own lives and existence and how we’re approaching nothing fast. Deep, right? We’re no philosophy or sociology majors here, but we know how to pick out symbolism from a crowd, or at least have mastered the ability to point out something that’s got us feeling super uneasy.
12 Extremely Close Proximity To Alien Hot Spots
Hold up. Burning Man is definitely out there, but we had no idea that their festival was running parallel to Area 51. Gallivanting throughout the desert is sure to take a mental toll on you – what with all that desert heat and hyped-up freakiness happening everywhere – but you’ll sometimes have to stop and wonder if what you’re seeing is the result of dehydration, trippy substances, a desert mirage, or if what’s happening before your eyes is actually real. Coming across this display is bound to make anyone wonder if it’s legit, or if you should just call it quits and hail an Uber out of this desert and choose to tap out of this crazed festival. Hallucination or not, I’d be running for the hills after coming face to face with this stellar creature.
11 Crowds That Resemble Crop Circles
The crowds of people, vehicles, exhibits, and buskers at the Burning Man festival is vast to say the least. It’s a great thing that it’s held in the desert, because there is no property large enough to host the chaos. While it’s always in the best interest to stay organized at a festival, it’s hardly ever brought to fruition between the rowdy and disrespectful guests and the a lack of awareness of any sort of order. But for Burning Man, a festival that is bizarre and otherworldly enough, it seems to be taking their organization very seriously. It reflects a near-perfect grid, and yet it is not following the standard grid-like shape. The structure is so perfect that it seems impossible to pull off, much like the insane crop circles of our friends from a galaxy far, far away. We’re not saying there are other factors at play here, but we’re also not saying there aren’t.
10 Settled Into The Desert
Aside from the fact that this indoor furniture is casually being used outdoors, this picture is messed up for a lot of other reasons. First, there is a television in front of these people and yet there is no cable, gaming system, movie viewing device – nothing. Um, oh yeah. And no electricity! What is the point? Also, why is that sofa so short? It literally only sits one and a half persons and virtually has no support. It doesn’t even look comfortable! The lamp is also without purpose while lounging in the middle of the desert. If you’re trying to bring along a piece of home with you to make your Burning Man experience cozy, as well as crazy, opt for a chaise or an ottoman and ditch the purely decorative electronics.
9 From The Office To The Sand Dunes
Okay there, counsellor. I think you may have gotten yourself a little lost on your way to the courtroom. Your sand-blocking goggles and pint glass suggests you’re here for the party, but your suit and tie scream that you simply don’t belong. It seems as if this law brat can’t even escape the chain he has to his desk because, guess what? He actually went ahead and brought it with him! Along with his super pretentious leather swivel chair. I mean, there’s being unusual, and then there’s just being mindless. If this office dude really was as smart and successful as his attire suggests, he’d have not been so pompous as to take the office home with him, or in his case, to the desert.
8 Friends Just Beyond Reach
There are so many questions running through our minds as we stare upon this structure. Why are these babies half the size of the adults? How are they seemingly interacting with one another? It’s creepy enough to see babies the size of outhouses, but to also see them housed within crippled, defeated bodies is somehow ominous in nature. Is a metaphor for humanity? Is it just a mind-warp? Either way, we’re not jiving with what we’re seeing here as its existence is sending chills up our spine. These giant toddlers seem to be plotting their escape from the human prisons they’re being held captive in, and imagining the way this will play out is too much. Not only that, but someone will soon set fire to these two and seriously? Who would want to see babies on fire?
7 Recreating Mad Max
If any of you have seen Mad Max, you’d be just as terrified as us if you saw this armored and indestructible vehicle barreling towards you at full force. It looks like there are a bunch of nutjobs on board and they’ll have no remorse for accidentally running you over. When you see this type of wheeled beast heading towards you, it’s best to get out the way, b***h, get out the way! It’s also super cult-like to see the bicycle minions attempting to keep up with the “mothership”. We’re not sure what the purpose of this steel stallion is, or its enthusiastic entourage, but we wouldn’t be surprised if at the end of their trip an animal sacrifice is involved. Or at least an en masse peyote ingestion.
6 Redefining Hot-Headed
“Our love ain’t nothing but a monster with two heads”. If there were ever a more perfect visual to bring these Coleman Hell lyrics to life, this double inferno is it. Of course, there are a dozen other cliches flooding our minds when we look at this bizarre display, but we’ll just keep it simple. Seeing two heads and torsos in a loving embrace, while they burn viciously from the top down, is complicated to say the least. It’s making us feel sad, but also mesmerized and a little angry. The feels are unprecedented and we wish we just never even witnessed it at all. Add the fact that the flames are producing a smoke so black it rivals Satan’s soul, the sight is downright sinful.
5 Desert Buds, Cara Delevingne & Paris Hilton
Who knew that super-cool wild child, Cara Delevingne and Paris Hilton of all people would be chumming it up in the desert. It’s no secret that celebs take to the sand to participate in this annual freak show, but it’s still surprising when we witness someone from the tabloids let loose due to the hot, hot sun and dehydration. For these two, not only is their pairing questionable, but so are their confusing outfits. Cara is cyber astronaut from the waist up, and is rocking a grungy hiker look from the waist down. Paris, of course, looks out of place in her attempt to look rich, stylish, and hot at the same time. An attempt that she’s completely failing at because she’s legit trying too hard with those golden wings and lampshade-esque skirt.
4 The Ominous Stream Of Smoke
At first glance of this massive inferno, it wouldn’t seem that messed up. After all, the point of Burning Man is to set fire to things. But when you look past the flames and into the clouds of smoke, your eye is drawn to that single stream rising from the ground, attempting to mingle its way into the rest of the exhaust. Where is that lone pin-thin stream of smoke coming from? And where is it going? The fact that it’s so unlike the rest of the clouds is what makes us wonder. Is it even smoke, or is it a tentacle rising up from the earth, a la War of the Worlds. Whatever it is, it doesn’t look natural or forgiving. It looks like it’s about to knock out the crowds in one casual swoop.
3 Extremely Tall Business Men
Those super slender tall af men carrying umbrellas is definitely not something you see everyday, nor is it an image you can mentally wrap your head around it. They’re not tall enough to be walking on stilts, and yet they’re too tall to be human. What is happening here?! This twisted reality is making my head spin like their coordinated umbrellas. Aside from the lengthy legs on these gents, they’re sporting business suits and briefcases like they’re some uptight bankers looking to let loose. If that wasn’t enough of a reason to make this foursome look out of place, carrying those umbrellas make them look hella ridiculous. Can’t take the heat? Get back to your A/C pumped office and sit your long limbs down while the rest of us normals party on.
2 A Giant Cockroach Infestation
Nope. Nope. That's it. Get me out of this desert. A gigantic bug like this has no purpose other than to haunt our dreams and waking lives. Those wispy antennae are very threatening and I ain’t about to find out the full extent of their reach. Cockroaches are synonymous for being indestructible, and this one looks particularly able bodied to escape death. Translation: gtfo, before it eats you and all your hippie friends. And from the look of those spindly legs, there’s no question that it’ll run at you with full force and without mercy, crushing everything in its path and eating the roadkill for dinner. Any bug that requires a nuke to kill is a bug I’d never want to encounter, not even at a whacked-out festival.
1 Mysterious Floating Man
This is just next-level weird. How is this even happening? If I was walking by this display, I’d for sure be doing a double take as my jaw dropped to the sand. While we all know that this illusion is the result of hard-a** work and stamina, it’s still shocking to witness such a feat. This man has perfected his muscle strengthening to a tee, and even still, we can’t help but be astonished by this eye trickery (and his strength!). When you see something like this you have to wonder how long this guy can last? How does he even get in and out of position? Maybe it’s not an illusion at all, but the power and mystery of the desert that is elevating this warlock to unimaginable heights.
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