It’s the gold and white/blue and black dress all over again, but this time, it’s in audio form.
Earlier this week, social media influencer Cloe Feldman caused online chaos after she tweeted, “What do you hear? Yanny or Laurel?”
Attached to the tweet was a computerised voice saying either ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’.
What do you hear?! Yanny or Laurel pic.twitter.com/jvHhCbMc8I
— Cloe Feldman (@CloeCouture) May 15, 2018
The internet has been arguing since, with many saying that what they’re hearing is ‘Laurel’, while some claiming that what they’re hearing is ‘Yanny’. And to make it even more confusing, there are a few who say they hear both simultaneously.
Does anyone hear both yanny and laurel? pic.twitter.com/lSxgohjt81
— Jynjo (@jynjo) May 15, 2018
So what’s the correct answer? According to some internet sleuths, it’s really ‘Laurel’, but the sound turns into ‘Yanny’ due to any of the following reasons: hearing ability, dialect, the tweet’s visual prompt, and audio settings.
Ok, so if you pitch-shift it you can hear different things:
— Steve Pomeroy (@xxv) May 15, 2018
you can hear both when you adjust the bass levels: pic.twitter.com/22boppUJS1
— Earth Vessel Quotes (@earthvessquotes) May 15, 2018
The Verge, in consultation with Maastricht University cognitive neuroscientist Lars Riecke, explained this further:
“The secret is frequency. The acoustic information that makes us hear Yanny is higher frequency than the acoustic information that makes us hear Laurel.
“Some of the variation may be due to the audio system playing the sound, Reicke says. But some of it is also the mechanics of your ears, and what you’re expecting to hear.”
For now, we can only guess what the correct answer is (psst, it’s Laurel). Hopefully, in the future, scientists will have finally figured out whether it’s Yanny or Laurel – and gold and white or blue and black.
Which side are you on? Yanny or Laurel?