Photographer Peter Lik just sold a print of the image above (titled "Phantom") for $6.5 MILLION, displacing former photo heavyweight Andreas Gursky for the title of most expensive photo ever sold. This article in the Washington Post is one of the better attempts at explaining the madness. Blake Andrews also takes an interesting angle, stating that the sale may actually constitute torture.
The first (and very last) time I set foot in a Lik gallery, I was given the hard sell to the point where I got a little sick to my stomach, and maybe threw up in my mouth a little bit. This was right before I learned that his work is printed in "editions" of 950.