One Day Last Year A Small Town in Costa Rica Was Covered With 8 Million Flower Petals

Costa Rica has always compelled and confounded, the small Central American country alive amidst a vibrant canopy of rainforest green and tropical sapphire.

But for one day last year it literally exploded with color.

Reds, yellows, purples, blues: a whole rainbow of flowers reigned down on the area near Irazu Volcano, an astonishing 8 million petals cascading down from the sky.

Dramatic eruptions of color appeared against the backdrop of a dormant volcano, the kaleidoscopic offering very different to the time when scolding lava burned red through the nearby towns.

Dramatic eruptions of color appeared against the backdrop of a dormant volcano, the kaleidoscopic offering very different to the time when scolding lava burned red through the nearby towns.

Millions of petals fly through the air, leaving vivid remains across the gray slopes and crater walls of Irazu Volcano.

Millions of petals fly through the air, leaving vivid remains across the gray slopes and crater walls of Irazu Volcano.

Irazu Volcano in Costa Rica

The area around Irazu Volcano has always been one for stealing the limelight. Thanks to its fondness for catastrophe, its local nickname is “El Coloso,” (The Colossus), although that doesn’t prevent a weekly bus service heading right to the summit. It last erupted in 1963, timing its eruption to the exact day former US President John F. Kennedy arrived in the country. Columbia University volcanologists reckoned it took 570,000 years of underground magma bubbling on the Highway from Hell for Irazu to explode. JFK wasn’t too impressed as ash reigned down on his state speech and scattered his hair with shocks of gray.

However, last year’s color explosion wasn’t geothermal in origin. It was organized by McCann, the international advertising agency.

Staff send great plumes of blue petals through the air, each of them plucked from flowers cropped in the surrounding region.

Staff send great plumes of blue petals through the air, each of them plucked from flowers cropped in the surrounding region.

When the industrial hairdryers ran out of power, McCann's male workers gleefully threw out vast handfuls of floral brilliance.

When the industrial hairdryers ran out of power, McCann’s male workers gleefully threw out vast handfuls of floral brilliance.

Why 8 Million Flower Petals?

McCann’s concept was to cover the area with a flower petal for every pixel of in Sony’s new ultra high definition 4k television. Local employment figures soared as residents were paid to tour the surrounding area and collecting the most dramatic colored petals that could be found. Costa Rica has always been a country of vivid tropical blooms and it took just two weeks to pick the flowers that would downpour over the town. In total, they picked 3.5 tons of petals, a remarkable figure given that if you use rounding techniques, flowers don’t actually weight anything.

Costa Rica Flowers 2

Perhaps the most dramatic scenes were witnessed when the petals mingled with the vivacious green of Costa Rica’s ancient rainforests.

Rivers ran red as the advertising shoot explored some of the country's finest natural attractions.

Rivers ran red as the advertising shoot explored some of the country’s finest natural attractions.

It’s Raining Flowers in Town

The Weather Girls sang “it’s raining men.” Thankfully that was a fictional prophecy. Instead, this tiny town in Costa Rica was flooded with millions of petals as it literally rained flower petals. Those getting rum drunk in taverns were bewildered and couldn’t leave their havens of debauchery. You can imagine the response when one returned home to explained his lateness on millions of flowers falling from the sky. The children were equally bewildered and took the opportunity to skateboard through streets of rosy tints.

If you could skateboard, you would surely join the kids in rambling through the rouge. Then again, if you couldn't skate, this would be the place to try.

If you could skateboard, you would surely join the kids in rambling through the rouge. Then again, if you couldn’t skate, this would be the place to try.

The explosion of color has helped to promote the whole region as a destination. Irazu Volcano national park has reported an increase in tourist numbers.

The explosion of color has helped to promote the whole region as a destination. Irazu Volcano national park has reported an increase in tourist numbers.

What Else Can You Find in Costa Rica

Thankfully, McCann didn’t leave the rivers red and the forests yellow. A huge clean up operation plucked the petals from the streets and restored the area to its former state. While it was a huge publicity stunt for Sony, it’s helped to further promote Costa Rica as one of the world’s most colorful destinations. Different parts of the country have featured on a number of Random Vacay articles:

It took over a month to clear the petals from the streets and forests.

It took over a month to clear the petals from the streets and forests.

While you probably won't see this in your lifetime, visit Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica and you can witness live lava streams streaking orange down one of the world's most dangerous volcano trekking destinations.

While you probably won’t see this in your lifetime, visit Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica and you can witness live lava streams streaking orange down one of the world’s most dangerous volcano trekking destinations.