Orbital View: Tulip Mania

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

I almost passed over this quirky shot of tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands, since it’s the wrong season for blooming flowers. But a bit of Googling revealed that tulip bulbs are planted in the fall, so behold:

A photo posted by Daily Overview (@dailyoverview) on

From the caption:

The Dutch produce a total of 4.3 billion tulip bulbs each year. 53% of the total harvest (2.3 billion) is grown into cut flowers. Of these, 1.3 billion are sold in the Netherlands as cut flowers and the remainder is exported: 630 million bulbs to Europe and 370 million elsewhere.

Bonus tulip fact: There are more than 3,000 varieties.