We know what you’re thinking. You take one look at this spiky top and your brain automatically goes “Oh cool, it’s the Empire State Building. Now what are we having for dinner? Also, we’re out of eggs.” But tell your brain to take another second and another look to understand that this is actually a ginormous model of a rocket ship.
Where else might you find a towering flaming neon pink rocket ship, constructed exclusively for adults? Nowhere, we’re quite sure. And at its base this thing has wheels! It’s a mobile rocket structure. Burning Man is a special and unique spectacle.
The Shark Mobile
Not all art installations at Burning Man are stationary. In fact, one of the event's highlights is decorating vehicles to construct mobile works of art that will move around the compound and interact with people. This neon-accented great white shark on wheels is one of these spectacular rides.
All aboard! The shark mobile was crafted for Burning Man 2012. Designed to undo what the Jaws franchise did and purge the fear of sharks, this enormous great white had Burners climb into its gut, look through the razor-sharp teeth to see where they’re heading, and, most importantly, have a wonderful time traversing the Playa.
A Flaming Recycled Scrap-Metal Octopus
Here is one of the more unique vehicles to have ever cruised the Playa. Enormous flaming tentacles crown this contrivance like no other. It’s a 25-foot-high flame shooter. It first visited Burning Man in 2011. The contraption of mechanical parts and labor is endearingly named El Pulpo Mecanico, or the Giant Flaming Octopus.
This piece is a combination of art and technology based on a 1973 Ford 250 pickup truck. The monster artwork consumes 200 gallons of propane per night, so the Humboldt County creators took up donations to bring her back. Here she is at that 2012 event pictured under a magical sky.
Tunnel of Lights
This Burning Man work of art is a tunnel of light and music, pulsating in sync. Called the Sonic Runway, the 1,000-foot tunnel is constructed of 32 circular steel arches lit with LED lights. Lights flash on the arches to the speed of sound. The exhibit is meant to visualize sound waves.
The folks over at Sonic Runway say, “The speed of sound is roughly 767 miles/hour or 343 meters/sec. The Sonic Runway is 1,000’ long, so a single beat will travel the Runway in about a second.” The picture you see here is from when the installation was set at San José City Hall, letting non-Burners enjoy the experience as well.
A Cosmic Neon Beacon of Light
Imagine being in the desert at night; you're wandering around the dark plains, pulling the coat tighter around your shoulders, and as you look ahead, you see in the distance something that looks like a bunch of glowing tipis. Is it that funny pill you took earlier? Nope. It's Burning Man.
This structure of brilliant proportions visited Burning Man in 2014. It’s called Cubatrom Evolution or Starway. It looks like a futuristic Christmas tree or maybe an alien craft from Star Trek. Whatever the inspiration was — it’s magnificent. It’s a lighted respite from the dark desert landscape and a spiral of light to trip out on.