After the divide over “the dress” in 2015, the internet, yet again, has been divided into two groups because of a 4-second audio clip.

Team Yanny and Team Laurel.

This auditory illusion was uploaded by Cloe Feldman Tuesday and the internet is divided since then.

People are strongly opinionated about what they heard and our poll on Instagram showed Yanny to be on the winning side by a slight margin.

We did a little digging of our own and bring you all the facts as to what is the reason behind this auditory illusion.

And yes, also what the actual word is.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi2EvxrD85Q/

Why You Heard What You Heard:

There are many reasons as to why you heard Laurel or Yanny. The most important is the frequency.

People who are more used to lower frequencies can hear the word ‘Laurel’ and people whose ears are trained for higher frequencies will hear the word ‘Yanny’

The device on which you hear the audio note also matters. Different devices with different audio quality distort the frequency even further and can make you hear both ‘Yanny’ and ‘Laurel’.

I personally could have sworn I heard Yanny on my phone but a few minutes later when I heard in on PC it was Laurel and now it’s Laurel every time.

The age of the listener also plays a part in what you hear. The ‘Yanny’ sound is of more high frequency and as you get older you lose your response to sounds of high frequency.

If you mess with the frequencies and remove high frequencies, you will hear the word ‘Laurel’ and it’s the same the other way around. NY Times has made a tool for us so we can hear both Yanny and Laurel.

Related: The Word “Very” Is VERY Unnecessary. Or Should I Say, Redundant: Poster Series

The One True Word:

However, if you definitively want to know what the word is, it’s ‘Laurel’.

We did our research and traced the source of the audio clip back to vocabulary.com and the audio clip was uploaded for the word Laurel.

A high school student stumbled upon this auditory illusion when she was searching for the word Laurel for her world literature class. But even if you hear Yanny you are not wrong.

Our brain plays tricks on us and our expectations, our past experiences with certain words play a major part in whether we hear ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’. Meaning even the slightest change like writing Laurel before Yanny might have changed what you heard.

If the whole sentence would have been provided then the whole enigma would have died down.


Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: BBC, Forbes, NY Times + more


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