With over 3 trillion images online and millions more uploaded daily, I have always been curious what image has been seen the most. My question was answered this morning, when a team member found a blog post from PetaPixel on "The Most-Viewed Photo of All Time". The answer was shocking. It is a picture called Bliss that was taken by Charles O'Rear. The photo has apparently been viewed by "over 1 billion people" since 2002. The big question is why this image?
According to Mashable, Charles O'Rear happened to take the photo while he was on another assignment. He then sold the photo to Microsoft for an undisclosed amount. In 2002, Microsoft made the image the default desktop view for Window XP.
Given the image was the default desktop wallpaper for the largest operating system in the world, it makes sense this is the top viewed image since the picture automatically appears once your PC set-up is complete. What I find funny is the image is of Sonoma, CA. I never would've guessed it was an image from Sonoma because it was too green. For those who have never been to Sonoma, it is very rare to see the hill that green. Usually it's a green/brown color or just brown. I think the Dutch had it right when they named this photo Ireland in Microsofts Operating system. If you check out the Wikipedia page for Bliss there are photos take of the same location from 2006 & 2011. The scenery looks a lot different.
I wonder what photo could overtake this one in popularity in the midst of an image revolution?