Three years after the the internet had a meltdown debate over the color of a dress, an audio file has the internet in a frenzy once again, questioning one another’s hearing, as well as their own. However, this new fad involves a recorded voice saying “Yanny” or “Laurel.”
Social media influence and vlogger Cloe Feldman posted a posted of the audio recording on her Instagram account, as well as her Twitter page a short time later: “What do you hear? Yanny or Laurel,” accompanied by a recording of a computerized voice. This seemingly innocent question has the internet up-in-arms once again, battling over the correct answer and questioning the sanity of those who have opposing answers.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. One Theory Posed by a Redditor Involves the Amount of Bass Produced from the Device You’re Listening On
According to this Reddit thread, what you hear depends on the amount of bass that’s being produced from the device you’re listening on.
“Turn the volume up/down to hear each version.
It has to do with the bass frequencies not being perceived as loud at lower volumes.
If you turn the volume very low, there will be practically no bass and you will hear Yanny.
Turn the volume up and play it on some speakers that have actual bass response (aka not your phone) and you will hear Laurel.
Obviously this also depends on individual physiology and on what you “expect” to hear.
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.”
2. By Manipulating Audio and Changing the Pitch of the Voice, Some Listeners Have Been Able to Hear Both Laurel and Yanny or the Opposite of What They Originally Heard
Some social media users claimed they could hear both words at the same time after adjusting the audio levels, while others claimed they could hear different words depending on how the audio was manipulated.
Others claimed they heard one word for a while, then the other — or even both simultaneously.
Some users tried to break down the science of the audio frequencies, claiming that what you hear depends on how high or low the frequency of the audio is.
3. The Debate Has the Internet in the Frenzy, with Social Media Users Battling Intensely Over What is Actually Being Said/Heard
One Reddit user said that everybody claiming they hear Yanny is a liar, with others calling the the auditory illusion was “black magic.”
Another Reddit user mentioned that if you record it on Snapchat, the words sounded different depending on the sound effect used.
“There is a chipmunk and bear sound effect on the bottom left. the chipmunk should sound like “Laurel” and the bear should be “Yanny” separately.”
The debate has been heating up on Twitter, with users battling one another over the audio, with some users calling other users “psycho” for hearing one or the other, and others claiming that certain people were just clambering for attention.
“They are saying they hear ‘Yanny’ because they want attention,” a tweet read.
Others posted pictures of debates with friends, once again jumping back to the infamous “what color is the dress?” argument.
Google even jumped on board and posted the spike in the trend, with Laurel in the lead over Yanny.
4. The Laurel/Yanny Debate Rehashed the The Dress Argument from 2015
#TheDress, also known as “What Color Is This Dress?” refers to a Tumblr post in which viewers were asked to identify the color of a dress, which appeared to be either white and gold or black and blue.
On February 25th, 2015, Tumblr user “swiked” posted a photograph of a dress asking Tumblr users involved with science to help identify its colors, noting that her friends were torn between it being white and gold or black and blue. Within 48 hours, the post gained over 400,000 notes.
The question sparked an Internet-wide debate in late February 2015, launching the competing hashtags “#WhiteAndGold” and “#BlackAndBlue.”
On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, users chimed in on the color of the garment using the above hashtags. Within 12 hours, #TheDress had reached over 400,000 tweets, and #WhiteAndGold lead with a ratio of 3:1 tweets over #BlackAndBlue. By the end of 24 hours, tweets containing #TheDress had jumped to over 1.2 million.
According to Know Your Meme, “experts have cited the color constancy feature of the human color perception system, which attempts to make colors appear consistent under varying types of illumination, as being responsible for the different colors identified in the photograph. If the viewer assumes a white illuminant, the dress appears blue and black, but if a blue illuminant is assumed, the dress appears white and gold.”
The trend even had celebrities getting involved, asking fans their opinions and giving their own judgement of the color scheme:
5. A Prominent Social Media Influence and Vlogger Sparked the Laurel/Yanny Debate
Who can the internet thank for sparking a brand new #TheDress debate? Cloe Feldman, a well-known YouTuber, Vlogger and social media presence posted the video on her Instagram before reposting the audio clip on her Twitter account, which has over 207 thousand followers.
According to Feldman’s biography on The Famous People, “‘CloeCouture’ is a successful YouTube channel run by famous beauty vlogger Cloe Feldman. She loves making videos about beauty, fashion, lifestyle and music. Cloe, who started her YouTube channel in January 2011, was featured in an article on the Wall Street Journal in September of the same year, along with a bunch of famous YouTube stars.”
Feldman also recently posted a series of comedy sketches named “iDateCloeCouture” which became very popular with her fans. She considers her YouTube channel her “own little business.” The site says that Feldman scripts, shoots and edits her own videos, as well as markets herself on various social media platforms.
She was featured on an episode of The Today Show, hosted by Matt Lauer, has launched her own clothing line named GLO by CloeCouture and is interested in an acting career because she thinks it is “cool.”
Feldman, who also goes by nickname CloeCouture, is 20 years old and was born in Florida, according to her biography.