Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, in the United States. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance. It sure makes from some great pictures.

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Burning Man 2011

Participant Donna Carter of Boise, Idaho, looks at The Temple of Transition during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

A participant looks at an art installation during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Participants ride in an art car during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

A participant during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Naomi Ferrer from Israel dances with a fan atop the The Temple of Tranisition during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

LaTisha Strickland (L) of Portland, Oregon, shows her octopus hat to a friend as they visit the effigy of the man, during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Participants are sprayed with water to cool down in the heat, as they dance at the Distrikt sound and music camp during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Messages written by participants are seen on the wall of The Temple of Transition during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Participants climb down from the top of The Temple of Transition during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

LaTisha Strickland of Portland, Oregon shows her octopus hat as she visits the effigy of the man, during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Participants chant together inside The Temple of Transition during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

A participant rides a bicycle across the Black Rock desert during a dust storm in the midst of the the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Participants wear face masks and goggles to protect themselves during a dust storm in the midst of the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

A participant is seen during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada August 31, 2011.More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man participant Karen Wennberg of Sante Fe, New Mexico, pauses after writing a personal message on The Temple of Transition during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

A Burning Man participant looks at an art project during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Cari Elias of Ohio visits the effigy of the man to be burned, during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold-out festival. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

The sun rises over the many art installations created in the Black Rock Desert during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada, September 1, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man participants walk and cycle the streets as the sun rises over the Black Rock Desert during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada, September 1, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

A Burning Man participant talks to artist Demian Durance (2nd R) as the sun comes up behind his art installation Quemaduras del Sol during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 1, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011
Burning Man 2011

Campsites and theme camps are seen stretching for miles across the desert during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 1, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Brian Wadman, a Burning Man participant from Auckland, New Zealand, toasts a giant Trojan horse art project with his can of beer shortly after sunrise during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 1, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

An art installation called the Hug Deli offers free hugs to passersby during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 1, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011
Burning Man 2011

A woman riding in an outrigger aboard a music camp art car playing dance music fires a flame cannon over the heads of Burning Man participants as they dance in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in the early hours of the morning after midnight during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada September 2, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold-out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011
Burning Man 2011

Burning Man participants parade across the Black Rock Desert with jellyfish that they created in the early hours of the morning during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada September 2, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Abraxas, a 65-foot-long dragon art car mounted on a bus chassis, races across the Black Rock Desert in the early hours of the morning during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada September 2, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man participants look at an art installation in the Black Rock Desert in the early hours of the morning during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada September 2, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man participants pass an art car in the Black Rock Desert in the early hours of the morning during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada September 2, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

People experience the Wet Dream art installation during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold-out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

People dance at the Disorient sound camp during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

A participant dressed in a checkered mylar bodysuit lit by laser lights sits on on his bicycle while talking to a friend in the Black Rock Desert in the early hours of the morning during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada, September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Participants drive a Burning Man art car made to resemble a Cheshire cat, across the Black Rock Desert after midnight during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada, September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

The Burning Man Temple of Transition is seen in the Black Rock Desert in the early hours of the morning during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in Nevada, September 3, 2011. The temple will be burned to the ground on Sunday night. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Burning Man 2011

Scott Zimmerman wears wings during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 2, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Katrina Van Marter poses in her costume during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 2, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Festival goers ride bicycles on the Playa during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 2, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

People make their way to the Temple of Transition during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 2, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Clouds of dust blow across the Playa during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold-out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

The Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival is seen in this aerial view taken in the Black Rock desert of Nevada September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Larry Harvey, founder of Burning Man, smiles during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

People converge on the Playa during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Participants fight in the Thunder Dome during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Participants fight in the Thunder Dome during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Participant Kevin Wagter, dressed as the Dust Demon, walks across the playa during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Memphis Roetter, 6, plays with a toy laser gun near his camp during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

The bare feet of Xander Shepherd is seen as he sleeps at the base where the effigy of The Man was burned during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold out festival. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Christy Lynn cries after spreading her grandmother's ashes at the Temple of Transition before it was burned during the Burning Man Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the 25th edition of the sold out festival. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Fire dancers with the LA Fire Brigade perform during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Fireworks erupt before The Man is burned during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

The Man is burned during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Blain Chafin watches the remnants of the 50 foot (15 meters) tall Trojan Horse burn during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada September 3, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Thousands of people watch as the Temple of Transformation burns during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Meghan O'Brien (L) and Kip Anderson pray as the Temple of Transformation burns during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Peg Toscanini (L) and Doug Taphouse watch as the Temple of Transformation burns during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Cooper Brawn dances as the Temple of Transformation burns during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

Firefighters watch as the Temple of Transformation burns during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

The Temple of Transformation burns during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man 2011

People walk across the Playa to the Temple of Transformation during the Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, September 4, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart