Throughout history, mankind has placed a great value of the aesthetic beauty of flowers. Ancient Greeks and Romans cultivated many different types of flowers in order to beautify the world they lived in. And why not? Flowers are pretty and they smell good. Beyond that, their applications are a bit limited to the layperson, but they’re a cheap investment. Flowers produce the means of production for more flowers, making them a cheap investment. But for no logical reason whatsoever, for a brief time in the 17th century a flower became quite possibly the most valuable thing on the planet.
The tulip is certainly a pretty flower, coming in a wide array of colors. Tulips are so nice to look at, but other than that what can you do with a tulip? Nothing, really. You could try to eat it, but it wouldn’t be enjoyable. There are no fun chemical compounds found in a tulip that could get you high if you were to smoke some. Outside of aesthetics, the utility of a tulip is null.
The aesthetic quality of the tulip was a hot novelty since its introduction to the Western world. The tulip first arrived in Europe from Persia around the mid-16th century and its popularity began to bloom. These new and exciting flowers just made all the old flowers seem dull. Like most new and exciting entries to the marketplace, tulips quickly became a status symbol. Holland became the center of the tulip trade in Europe, and everything was pretty chill for like 50 or so years, and then, without warning and for no concrete reason, everyone just completely lost their shit over tulips.
Tulip mania is the name given to the period of 1636-1637 in Holland when the price of tulip bulbs rose to astronomical levels. Eventually people started to treat tulips as a form a currency. The tulip trade became more and more speculative. And then during the winter, prices fucking exploded.
Historians still dispute exactly what the fuck was going on in Holland in 1636-1637, but tulip futures exploded, and everyone wanted in on the action. Some bulbs were traded up to ten times a day by speculative investors gunning for a profit. At the peak of this mania, some single bulbs were being sold for ten times the annual income of a skilled laborer.
And then the bulb bubble burst. Many were left holding contracts to purchase tulips at 10 times their market price. Eventually, things settled down, and the tulip became affordable enough to spread all over Holland and become a modern symbol of the country. To this day, the causes of the inflation and collapse of this bubble are still debated, as it remains one of the greatest mysteries in the history of economics.
Thankfully, no one treats tulip tattoos like futures. While a tattoo of this beautiful flower with a rich and storied history may run you a couple hundred bucks, you’ll never see a monetary return on your investment. And that’s ok, because tulips are just so fucking beautiful, as you can see from a glance at some of these beautiful floral tattoos.
These tulip tattoos are positively flowering with beauty. Hopefully we’ve planted some seeds that might inspire you to start thinking about a tulip tattoo. Or maybe a Venus Flytrap.