XL/Columbia Records

Well, this is nuts. Adele’s new album, 25, officially moved 3.38 million copies in its first week in the United States alone. How nuts, exactly? Billboard, take it away:

“That’s the largest single sales week for an album since Nielsen began tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991. 25 is the first album to sell more than 3 million copies in a week in Nielsen history, and only the second to surpass 2 million sold in a single frame.”

Try to let that sink in. Take all the time you need. We've got a breakdown with 10 reasons this happened, if that helps.

On Tuesday, Nov. 24, Adele beat the record that *NSYNC set in 2000 with No Strings Attached, which did 2.416 million copies in a week. At that point, it was expected for 25 to make 2.9 million sales. It’s only the 20th album to sell more than 1 million copies in seven days. Of its 3.38 million copies, 2.3 million were sold in the first three days.

Adele’s 21, which dropped five years ago this coming January, has sold 31 million copies worldwide, 11.2 million of them in the U.S. Its 24-nonconsecutive-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 is the longest stretch for a female artist ever.