Breaking news out of the Black Rock Desert: Burning Man is infested with huge, biting bugs.
The weeklong festival — which has become increasingly popular among the tech elite in recent years — hasn’t started yet. Still, horrifying photos of swarms of unidentified bugs have surfaced on Twitter over the last few days.
The infestation was confirmed by John Curley on the Burning Man blog:
You may have seen the bug rumours on the internet. We are here to tell you that they are all true. Well maybe not all of the rumours, but the bugs are real. They’re everywhere. They bite. They crawl all over you. They get up and in you.
What’s going on? We don’t know. We don’t know how the little critters survive in the heat and the sun. All we know is that if you pick up some wood, you’re likely to uncover hundreds or thousands of the things. They have blown up inches deep against the sides of the Commissary tent. They have covered the carpets at the Depot. They’re all over the Man Base. So it’s not a localised occurrence, it’s everywhere.
We don’t know where they came from, but there are two main theories: One is that all the spring and summer rain has hatched critters that lie dormant, or usually come to life at a different time of year. Or maybe they hitchhiked in on a load of wood from somewhere. Or maybe, as Shade postulated out at Man Base, there’s a Johnny Bugseed making the rounds at night, sprinkling them anywhere and everywhere.
Burning Man officially begins August 30 and runs through September 7. Here’s hoping the unwanted visitors are gone before the burners arrive.