A new experimental work was made to discover a principle mechanism of the burnout in pool boiling. Here, we directly observed a liquid layer structure under a massive vapor clot and the liquid layer-related burnout phenomenon. Based on the present observations, we have made a visual model for the formation and dryout of a liquid film under its vapor environment. At the formation process, liquid is trapped in interleaved space between growing bubbles and surface and the liquid trapping continues between coalesced bubbles and surface. In the dryout process, we especially observed vapor "holes" made by spontaneous breakup of discrete nucleating bubbles inside a vapor clot. The burnout can be triggered by the evaporation of the liquid film region expanded from rims of the holes. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.