A Steampunk Horse and other Small Mutant Animals… 11 Years of Burning Man

Steampunk horse at Burning Man.
Steampunk, the fantasy world where life and machines meld together, is fairly common at Burning Man for costumes, art, and mutant vehicles. This horse is one of the best examples.

As noted in my last post, I’ve been sorting through and categorizing my Burning Man photos from the 11 years I have attended the event: 2004-5-6-7-9-10-12-13-14-15 and 17. I’ve created 15 categories and will do posts on several of my favorites from each category over the next several weeks.

In my last Burning Man post, I introduced some of the larger animal mutant vehicles that roam the Playa at Burning Man. Today is the turn of the smaller mutant animals, like the horse above. Check out the head and the expression in its face. If my innards looked like the horse’s, I’d be a little wild-eyed too. Usually if you see gears used like this, you can assume that you’ve entered the world of steampunk.

Pink pony mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
It would be really hard to find a horse more opposite from the steampunk horse!

There aren’t a lot of insects normally found on the floor of the Black Rock Desert. In addition to being hot and dry, there aren’t any plants. When Burning Man comes to town, so to speak, things change.

Praying Mantis mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
One of the most impressive bugs to ever visit the Playa was this praying mantis.
Being buggy means being buggy eyed…
Buggy eyed mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
And it doesn’t get much more buggy eyed than this.
Beetle mutant vehicle at Burning Man with shell.
Any decent beetle needs a shell…
Bug mutant vehicle at Burning Man with a shell.
Dung beetle mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Now here’s a sweetie, a dung beetle. It rolls up a large dollop of poop and drags it along behind. I think it is supposed to be the home for its new children.

Burning Man has its share of fur bearing mammals that slip into the mutant vehicle category.

Cat car mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
The cat car is a favorite standby that makes it back to Burning Man year after year.
The kitty from the rear. I confess to finding the tail pipe rather amusing!
Green cat mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
A cool cat of a different color!
Furry rabbit mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Rabbits range from this friendly, furry fellow you’d probably allow up on your bed if he weren’t so big.
Buck teeth rabbit mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
To this guy you wouldn’t let in your house…
To this one. You would probably get a rabies shot if you encountered it.
Dog mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Dogs are few and far between. And this one may be a cat. Anyway, one way or the other, I have probably insulted the dog or cat kingdom.
Tutu wearing dog mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
This robot looking dog is wearing a pink tutu, which is what I expect to see at Burning Man.
Normally, one avoids polar bears. But a polar bear carrying a rose? (Photo by my friend Tom Lovering.)
Small dragon mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
A small, Chinese dragon? Or is it a duck?
Duck mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Now this is a duck! I think. It shoots fire out of its head at night.
Chicken pox mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Everyone recognizes chicken pox. Especially if it is labeled.
Turtle mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
I’m guessing that this mutant vehicle moves across the Playa slowly. (Photo by Don Green.)
I’ll wrap up today’s post with the king of beasts hitching a ride on a what… a whiskered slug? Do you have a clue?

NEXT POST: These mutant vehicles came out of the deep. There is something fishy about Burning man…

15 thoughts on “A Steampunk Horse and other Small Mutant Animals… 11 Years of Burning Man

  1. Wow, Curt, this Burning Man really seems to bring out a vivid and wild
    creative streak among people. Amazing and fun. I will read your next post
    as it might give me a clue who this Burning man was and why he inspires.

    We have some fun days with creations in England but nothing to compare with
    what you have shown us. Thank you.


    • The amount of creativity boggles, Miriam. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be featuring different aspects of the creativity. The Man part dates back to the 80s when a wooden man was burned on a San Francisco beach as a memorial. Each year, the Man is built in the center of the Playa and then is burned on Saturday night of the week-long event. Each year the 40-foot fall Man is built in a different setting. I will do two or three posts focusing in on the Man and the burn. –Curt

  2. Despite my affection for the furry kitty, I must say that the praying mantis caught my eye this time. But look at this horse! A Canadian blogger I follow posted it today — I’m not sure where the photo was taken. Do you suppose a renegade Burner has moved north?

  3. What a gorgeous post! They are awesome and I love just this kind art. Some models are quite sinilar what we have here. Thank You sharing this post with us.

    Have a good day!

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