Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Internet Torn Over "Yanny" or "Laurel" Audio Clip

Internet Torn Over

If you spent days of your life debating whether a certain viral dress was blue and black or white and blue in 2015, consider yourself warned that its spiritual successor is now circulating through the Internet. This is similar to that - but even more maddening.

Last night on Twitter, user Cloe Feldman shared a deceptively simple clip of an Instagram poll asking what users hear: yanny or laurel. I only hear Yanny. (In our small, unscientific Slack debate, the Yanny/Laurel divide didn't split cleanly through age ranges, however.) Or, it could be the speakers you're using to listen to the file, and which frequencies they're emphasizing.

This is still extremely weird.

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"If you hear Yanny and not Laurel I don't trust you", user Quincy Quarter-Zips tweeted. If you haven't, here's the tl;dr: There's an audio clip of a male computer-generated voice saying a word. Now it's Yanny or Laurel. When the bass is turned up, the lower-pitched "Laurel" becomes more prominent.

Moreover, some people have added to the confusion by somehow saying they can hear both.

"If I cut your ears off and put someone else's on your head, sounds would sound different", University of Chicago psychologist Howard Nusbaum told Gizmodo. You might actually hear different sounds than the person next to you.

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