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July 20, 2009

Our muddy world

Combine two of the most common materials found on the surface of our planet - dirt and water - and you get mud, which, in turn, can be played in, struggled through, rubbed on for medicinal value, or just worn for fun. Collected over the past few months from festivals sporting events and more, you'll find here photographs of people around the world playing with, wallowing in, wearing and just dealing with mud - one of the filthiest entries on the Big Picture to date. (31 photos total)

A man covered in mineral-rich black mud looks on while resting on the banks of the salt water Tus lake in Russia's Khakassia region, about 370 km (230 miles) southwest of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, July 12, 2009. (REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Players vie for the ball at the 2009 Swamp Soccer World Championships near Hyrynsalmi, Finland July 17, 2009. A natural swamp outside the town of Hyrynsalmi was converted into 22 playing fields for the 325 teams, made up of almost 5000 players from Finland, Norway, Russia, Germany, France and The Netherlands. (REUTERS/Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva) #

A player covered in mud competes in the Swamp Football World Championships in Hyrynsalmi, Finland on July 17, 2009. (VESA MOILANEN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Tourists play with mud during the Boryeong Mud Festival on Daecheon Beach in Boryeong, south of Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, July 11, 2009. The 12th annual mud festival features mud wrestling, mud sliding and a mud king contest. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man) #

Therese Hebda, 7, of Trenton, Michigan plays with hundreds of other children in a giant lake of mud at the annual Mud Day event July 7, 2009 in Westland, Michigan. The event is sponsored by the Wayne County Parks and Recreation Department and the mud hole is made with approximately 200 tons of topsoil and 20,000 gallons of water. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) #

Jockey Nestor Maldonado, 28, of San Juan, Puerto Rico finishes second riding Win Jane's Heart on June 24, 2007 at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, Massachusetts. "If its raining, I don't care. I need to ride. The mud is secondary. Mud is mud. It hurts a little bit. It feels like sand blasting. Sometimes you can't see. I have five goggles and I keep pulling them down over my face... Sometimes the mud comes in clumps, sometimes it comes like needles. I only like the way it tastes if I win." (Boston Globe Staff Photo) #

Suffolk Downs handicapper amd publicist Jessica Paquette walks across the muddy track in high heels on June 24th, 2009. "Honestly I'm thinking 'don't trip, don't fall'. Why would I wear high heels? Because they match my dress." (Boston Globe Staff Photo) #

Two festival goers covered with mud enjoy the Music Open air Festival St.Gallen, in Switzerland Saturday, June 27, 2009. (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Ennio Leanza) #

A visitor covered with mud during the Music Openair Festival in St.Gallen, Switzerland, Saturday, June 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Keystone, Ennio Leanza) #

Nepalese farmers splash mud at each other as they plant rice in a field on the outskirts of Kathmandu on June 29, 2009. The farmers of Nepal celebrate National Paddy Day on 'Asar 15' of the Nepali calendar each year as they begin their annual rice planting season. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman smiles as she and other Nepalese farmers splash mud at each other as they plant rice in a field on the outskirts of Kathmandu on June 29, 2009. The farmers were celebrating National Paddy Day as they began their annual rice planting season. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Barbara "Redneck Queen" Bailey shows the crowd the proper way to do the Bellyflop during the 13th Annual Summer Redneck Games July 11, 2009 in East Dublin, Georgia. Bailey won the event several years running in the 1990s. Started in 1996 as a spoof for the summer Olympics held in Atlanta, the games feature bobbing for pigs feet, hub cap hurling and the mud pit belly flop contest for trophies. (Stephen Morton/Getty Images) #

T.J. Kersey of Eatonton, Georgia looks for friends after the Mud Pit Bellyflop contest during the 13th Annual Summer Redneck Games July 11, 2009 in East Dublin, Georgia. (Stephen Morton/Getty Images) #

Pat Jones competes in the Mud Pit Bellyflop contest during the 13th Annual Summer Redneck Games July 11, 2009 in East Dublin, Georgia - Jones won the event for the first time. (Stephen Morton/Getty Images) #

Emile Blair, 11, of Westland, Michigan gives herself a mud hair-do while playing with hundreds of other children in a giant lake of mud at the annual Mud Day event July 7, 2009 in Westland, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) #

Women soldiers crawl through mud during a marine corp training session at a military base in Cavite city, south of Manila July 8, 2009. The Philippine marines have started recruiting women soldiers for front line duties including fighting Islamic militants on the restive southern Philippines island of Mindanao where an Italian red cross engineer has been held captive for nearly six months by Muslim rebels linked to Jemaah Islamiah. (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco) #

A Catholic devotee, covered in mud and donning dried banana leaves, attends a mass in celebration of Saint John The Baptist at Aliaga township, Nueva Ecija province, 150 kilometers north of Manila, Philippines on Wednesday June 24, 2009. Hundreds of devotees in this remote township cover themselves with mud and wear banana leaves in a unique practice seeking blessings and celebrating abundant harvest. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez) #

Asia Rivera, 5, left, and Jasmine Miles, 5, get a face full mud after they slid into a mud pit during the Seventh annual Monsoon Madness at Frontier Park in Queen Creek, Arizona on Saturday July 11, 2009. (AP Photo/East Valley Tribune, Darryl Webb) #

Participants enjoy the mud during the 12th Annual Boryeong Mud Festival at Daecheon Beach on July 11, 2009 in Boryeong, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) #

Michael Fearron from Pennsylvania with dried mud on his face, during the Boryeong Mud Festival on Daecheon Beach in Boryeong, south of Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, July 11, 2009. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man) #

Participants gather in the mud during the 12th Annual Boryeong Mud Festival at Daecheon Beach on July 11, 2009 in Boryeong, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) #

Unidentified visitors help each other to smear mud over their faces and bodies in a traditional practice where the mud is used as a cure for various bodily ailments. The black mud comes from the lake near the Black sea town of Pomorie, east of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. Phoot taken on Saturday, July 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Petar Petrov) #

Tourists covered with colored mud during the Boryeong Mud Festival on Daecheon Beach in Boryeong, south of Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, July 11, 2009. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man) #

Kelli Yokom (center), 13, of Edford, Michigan and her friend Stephanie Janssen (right), 9, of Redford play with hundreds of other children in a giant lake of mud at the annual Mud Day event July 7, 2009 in Westland, Michigan.(Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) #

Justin Betteridge from Britain takes a sunbath after mud painting during the Boryeong Mud Festival on Daecheon Beach in Boryeong, south of Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, July 11, 2009. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man) #

A man smears a woman with mineral-rich black mud on the banks of the salt water Tus lake in Russia's Khakassia region, about 370 km (230 mi) southwest of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on July 12, 2009. (REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin) #

A Russian tourist covers herself with mineral-rich mud July 12, 2009 at Kalia beach on the shores of the northern Dead Sea in the West Bank. (David Silverman/Getty Images) #

Tourists pose for photographs as they play with mud during the Boryeong Mud Festival at a beach in Boryeong, about 190 km (118 miles) southwest of Seoul, July 11, 2009. (REUTERS/Yang Young-Seok/Yonhap) #

A competitor crawls through the mud in the barbed wire challenge during the 'Tough Guy and Gal' multi sport race at Ti Papa Equestrian And Special Events Centre on July 5, 2009 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Sandra Mu/Getty Images) #

A search and rescue dog helps search for victims at the scene of a mountain landslide in Khen Len village, in Vietnam's northern Bac Kan province, July 7, 2009. Floods in the north of the country killed at least 34 people. (REUTERS/Kham) #

A woman covered in mineral mud stands by the Dead Sea on May 28, 2009. Geologist Eli Raz says a recent sinkhole phenomenon, underground craters that can burrow to the surface in an instant, sucking in whatever lies above, stems from a dire water shortage, compounded in recent years by a growing population and robust tourism and chemical industries in the Dead Sea area. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty) #

 
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