Prehistoric Three-Eyed ‘Dinosaur Shrimp’ Invade Burning Man Site

Burning Man - A Dry Wind

Photo: Getty Images

This year's Burning Man campout in the Nevada desert was definitely a chaotic one.

First, there was a serious traffic jam on the way to the destination, followed by tense standoffs between "burners" and climate activists.

Then, a mass exodus occurred when approximately 70,000 attendees abandoned the area after being stranded for days due to heavy mud and rainfall, which resulted in severe flooding.

Finally, 32-year-old festivalgoer Leon Reece was pronounced dead after being trapped in the terrible weather conditions.

Despite Burning Man having concluded on Monday, the aftermath of the festival doesn't get much brighter.

Hundreds of three-eyed "dinosaur shrimp," also referred to as "fairy shrimp," have overtaken the mud pits where those who traveled to Burning Man were temporarily situated.

Nicknamed as "living fossils" due to their resemblance to forms which existed during the Cambrian Period over 500 million years back, what's fascinating about these tiny crustaceans is that they were covered by a thick shell for many years in the area until the powerful rainstorms interrupted the annual event. The setting, which is a dry wasteland by default, became the perfect environment for the shrimp to hatch once completely soaked in rainfall.

The rare creatures were first seen emerging from their hiding spots by visitors leaving the site. They are expected to begin laying more eggs this week, which will increase their formerly overlooked population tremendously.

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