This year the European Organization for Nuclear Research (aka CERN) made a surprising appearance at the Rio Carnival, held at Rio de Janiero's Sambadrome. Two hundred people from the Unidos da Tijuca, last year's winning samba school, represented CERN's particle accelerators crossing the border between France and Switzerland. And this was not the only beautifully geeky moment at the world's largest parade. Look:

A stilt-walker during the "My Light is LED" bloco pre-carnival street parade

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images


Performers from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school present their dance artwork: "Acelerador de Partícula," or "Particle Accelerator"

Photo: Felipe Dana/AP


A performer from the Academicos do Grande Rio samba school is dressed like a character from a Mœbius comics

Photo: Silvia Izquierdo/AP


Digital doomsday clocks—I think?—and Earth-like planets on the heads of performers

Photo: Roberto Filho/Getty Images


A giant alien and a dancer from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school

Photo: Leo Correa/AP


An army of Incredible Hulks from the Uniao da Ilha do Governador samba school

Photo: Silvia Izquierdo/AP


A drone carrying a lightweight-designed soccer ball flies over the Carnival parade

Photo: Leo Correa/AP