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When most people think of drones, they probably think of remote-fired missiles raining down on Pakistan and Yemen. But it turns out that drones — or, technically, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — are also a pretty good platform for capturing a flavor of Burning Man, the surreal celebration of fleeting beauty, self-reliance, generosity, and elaborate self-expression held every year in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

If, like me, you've never been to Burning Man — or, like Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, you just helicopter in for one day of the weeklong festival — these drone's-eye views of the big party in the desert are certainly a better introduction than the photos on your friend's smartphone or Instagram page. If you are a Burning Man regular, here's a different way to relive the magic.

The video above was taken by Eddie Codel from a DJI Phantom quadcopter UAV. The one below was captured by Tugrik d'Itichi from a TBS Discovery Pro quadrotor. Both UAVs held GoPro Hero3 cameras.

For more of an on-the-ground look at Burning Man, here is a time-lapse video of five of the installations, including the eponymous Man burned on the final Saturday, Aug. 31:

See a photo of the Man on fire here, or read a first-person account, from Wells Tower in GQ, of experiencing Burning Man with a 69-year-old father. Finally, here's a look inside just one structure, the Temple of Whollyness, which was burned to the ground late Sept. 1: