In the days leading up to this year’s Burning Man, swarms of bugs have found a new home on the festival grounds. Extremely unusual for the middle of the desert, this infestation has been the topic of much discussion amongst Burners.
The insects are comprised mostly of stink bug varieties, and have long hollow tongues called probiscises that they poke into skin looking for, not blood, but water. And it’s not like there’s just a couple thousand of these on the Playa; the soon-to-be site of Black Rock City is hosting millions of these creatures.
“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’ve blown up inches deep against the sides of the Commissary tent. They’ve covered the carpets at the Depot. They’re all over the Man Base. So it’s not a localized occurrence. It’s everywhere.”
The boom of unexpected guests is likely due to the unseasonably wet weather the area has experienced, causing the local insect population to skyrocket. Also, the insects have been causing skin irritations for many people, not because of biting, but because they’ve ingesting mustard seed from the local flora. Awesome.
Overall, it’s a mild nuisance and is not expected to seriously interfere with the festival. Considering that it’s Burning Man we’re talking about, the insects are likely to serve as inspiration, spurring some interesting creations and doubtlessly earning a place in the festival’s lore.
Source: Business Insider