We regret to inform you that an audio version of The Dress has arrived on our shores.
It is, of course, a whole thing.
The clip has since spread to Twitter, where it’s perplexing people left and right. Some people swear all they hear is “yanny.” Others believe, in their heart of hearts, that the voice is saying “laurel.” And some people — the most infuriated, we are sure — go back and forth between the two. Can we be sure of nothing in this cold, dark world?
Still, the Yanny vs. Laurel furor has been pretty fun to watch unfold on Twitter. When was the last time the internet got an audio illusion instead of an optical one? It’s nice to mix it up a little!
i hear Yanny
— Cloe Feldman (@CloeCouture) May 15, 2018
i now hear laurel and yanny in one go,,,,, i am done
— alligator (@harisarohaya_) May 15, 2018
If you’re done having fun and just want some answers, there is a (probable) explanation for the great Yanny vs. Laurel Divide of 2018. Both words are probably being said in the clip.
“If you turn the volume very low, there will be practically no bass and you will hear Yanny,” they wrote in a comment on the original thread. “Turn the volume up and play it on some speakers that have actual bass response (aka not your phone) and you will hear Laurel.
“I’m assuming they combined the high frequencies of ‘Yanny’ with the lower frequencies of ‘Laurel’ (with some overlap), and the two words are phonetically similar enough for this to work. However, your brain can’t handle both at once, so it picks one and that is the version you hear,” juuular wrote.
Juuular also posited that older people, who are more likely to have sustained hearing damage, will probably hear “laurel” because our ability to hear higher frequencies diminishes as we age.
Here’s a similar take from YouTuber NerdItUp:
Still stuck on one? Try playing around with different headphones, speakers, and volumes — you’ll eventually hear the difference. Alternatively, give up and go stare at The Dress again. Simpler times, simpler times.