Mutants from the Deep… 11 Years of Burning Man

Octopus mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
I doubt that there has ever been a mutant vehicle at Burning Man more known and loved than El Pulpo Mechanico, the steam punk octopus. El pulpo was born in a junk yard in Eureka, California.

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.

Burning Man’s home, the Black Rock Desert, wasn’t always a desert. 15,000 years ago it was part of the huge, 500 foot deep Lake Lahontan. Given this, it isn’t surprising that many mutant vehicles take on an appearance of having once swum in its murky waters, or boated across them. Creatures range from an octopus to a hermit crab; Boats from a sailing ship to a yacht. Today’s post features some of the more fishy things about Burning Man.

Brown fish mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Big teeth seem to be a requirement of the fish that swim across the Playa on wheels. This one resembles an angler fish that dangles what appears to be a tasty morsel right in front of its mouth.
Mutant vehicle fish at Burning Man with large teeth.
This one has great chompers. Is that blood on its teeth? (Photo by Tom Lovering.)
Another perspective of the fish showing its scales. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)
Large angler fish mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Another angler fish. This one seems to know what Burners want, a disco ball, and appears to have been successful at attracting dinner. Is a little pole dancing in order?
A fish eating fish mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
No people on the menu? How about another fish? The tongue seems to promise an interesting ride.
Shark mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Not surprisingly, a shark was roaming the Playa at night. Should we break out in a Jimmy Buffet song?
Crocodile mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
More like a crocodile. But it has the large teeth.
Big city people will be familiar with articulated busses. This is a Burning Man equivalent: an articulated fish.
Pin eyed mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Small teeth, perhaps, but a fancy pink eye.
A guppy mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
A guppy, perhaps?
Squid mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
I decided that this might be a streamlined squid, but I could be wrong. Land speed records, BTW, have been set on the Black Rock Desert.
Narwhal mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Do you know what this is? It’s a narwhal.
A closer look. A narwhal’s tusk is made of ivory. I like the eye.
Here’s the long view.
Hermit crab mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
No question about this fellow. It’s a hermit crab.
Sailing ship mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
I never expected to find a full scale sailing ship at Burning Man.
The yacht Christina mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Or a yacht. This is the Christina.
River boat mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
How about a river boat plus mermaid? (Photo by Tom Lovering.)
Another sailing ship of yore. Nevada Burners created this ship.
Reed boat mutant vehicle at Burning Man.
Ready to float down the Nile, perhaps.
I’ll finish this post off with a couple more photos of El Pulpo.
At night.

NEXT POST: Peggy provides her perspective on our hike down the Pacific Crest Trail last summer.

17 thoughts on “Mutants from the Deep… 11 Years of Burning Man

  1. Pingback: Mutants from the Deep… 11 Years of Burning Man — Wandering through Time and Place – Naijalifestyle

  2. Seeing these fearsome fish in the desert gets me thinking about Tremers. Makes you want to step lightly. 🙂 🙂

    That fully rigged ship is awesome. Where do they get that stuff? Amazon? 🙂

    • Cute, Craig. But the danger of being run over is greater. Or crashing into some one on your bike because you are busy gawking! As for the ship, it was built for Burning Man. 🙂 –Curt

    • Turn you loose with your camera and I suspect you would go crazy, Dina. It would be fun to see what you came up with. The rest of the Fab Four would have a blast as well. Thanks. –Curt

  3. These just bowl me over, Curt. I was planning on trying to figure out which creature I liked best – but then I scrolled down and saw the different ships – they are incredible!!

    • Hadn’t thought of them that way, AC, but you are absolutely right on the piranhas. We caught a few on the Amazon and actually had their skulls around the house for a while. 🙂 –Curt

  4. So many wonderful fish! I love the variety and these are all done so well. I assume you photograph the best, but I am still impressed with how many truly wonderful mutant vehicles there are. My fave might be the hermit crab, but I so enjoy the deep sea fish and the boats are a delight out there in the desert.

    • I do photograph the ones that capture my attention, Crystal. Most of them are surprisingly good, however. You have to get permission to bring a mutant vehicle to Burning Man and the organization requires people to submit plans or at least drawings for what they are proposing. Numbers are limited so BMO tries to support only the best. The hermit crab had a real sense of humor attached. –Curt

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