Hundreds of three-eyed 'dinosaur shrimp' wake up at Burning Man

Wednesday, 06/09/2023, 15:29 (GMT+7)

Hundreds of three-eyed 'dinosaur shrimp' wake up and emerge from mud pits at Burning Man.

70,000 people witnessed heavy rain descend upon the Burning Man festival. The rain also stirred a resurgence of hundreds of three-eyed 'dinosaur shrimp.'

These small creatures, known as fairy shrimp, had remained dormant within their thick shells for several years. However, the rainstorms that hit the Nevada festival created an ideal environment for their hatching.

Hundreds of three-eyed 'dinosaur shrimp' wake up at Burning Man 1
Image: SONICAIDS/Twitter

Revelers escaping the flooded desert witnessed these crustaceans emerging from the muddy pits, where they will begin laying more eggs in the coming week.

Fairy shrimp are often dubbed 'living fossils' due to their resemblance to similar species that existed during the Cambrian Period, more than 500 million years ago.

Hundreds of three-eyed 'dinosaur shrimp' wake up at Burning Man 2
Image Credits: @gxdia/Twitter

The Burning Man festival, famous for self-expression, took place from August 27 to September 4 in the Black Rock Desert. 

However, an unexpected late-summer storm transformed the celebration into a muddied mess, with partygoers stuck in foot-deep mud. 

Fairy shrimp, belonging to the Anostraca genus, do not have shells on their heads or in front of their chests, unlike shrimps, which fall under the Decapoda genus.

Hundreds of three-eyed 'dinosaur shrimp' wake up at Burning Man 3
Image: SONICAIDS/Twitter

Additionally, fairy shrimp have 11 pairs of legs, while modern shrimps typically have eight pairs of legs.

These 'dinosaur' creatures have two eyes and a pit organ, which is a third eye commonly found among insects. The pit organ helps them sense changes in light and evade predators.

Fairy shrimps not only have a short lifespan of two to three months but also inhabit seasonal water bodies.

Their eggs are known for their 'tenacious vitality,' capable of remaining in the soil for several years before hatching in freshwater or even surviving boiling."

Hundreds of three-eyed 'dinosaur shrimp' wake up at Burning Man 4
Image Credits: REUTERS

Originally, these shrimps inhabited the earth's oceans but were eventually compelled to adapt to shallow freshwater habitats due to the presence of predatory species.

Mark Deutschendorf, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Reno, stated that over half an inch and potentially close to one inch of rain fell over the weekend in certain parts of northwest Nevada, including the area where the Burning Man festival was being held.

Hundreds of three-eyed 'dinosaur shrimp' wake up at Burning Man 5
Image Credits: USA today network

The Pershing County Sheriff's Office confirmed a single fatality on Saturday 'during this rain event,' and the investigation into the death is ongoing.

Despite the severity of the circumstances, the CEO of Burning Man reassured attendees on Sunday that there was no cause for panic and clarified that it was not an 'evacuation situation.'"

Despite the chaos, the spirited crowds at the festival made the most of the situation by organizing slip-and-slides and engaging in other activities that embody the distinctive spirit of Burning Man.