Yanny Vs. Laurel The Next Great Internet Debate

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Many of you might remember the dress debate that broke the internet a few years ago. You know, the one that mistook a clearly blue and black dress for white and gold. To this day, the internet still can’t come to an agreement on the color. For those of you who are still not over the dress, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s a new debate for you to obsess over. Though this time around, its a voice recording, not a dress, that has divided the web.

The Next Great Debate

In a Reddit post that first appeared over this past weekend, a user by the name of RolandCamry asked a simple question, “What do you guys hear?” The post contained a short, four second clip of a robotic voice saying a name a few times over. The name each person heard was either Yanny or Laurel (depending on a variety of factors.) From there, the internet exploded. It was basically the dress all over again. Taking a quick poll of the writers here at Digital Addicts, four of us (including myself) heard “Yanny,” while the other four heard “Laurel.” This appears to be the case with most of the internet, as the results seem to be roughly 50/50.

The Science Behind Yanny Vs. Laurel

Since the Yanny vs. Laurel post went viral, writers and researchers all over the internet have been trying to figure out why some people hear “Yanny” while others can only hear “Laurel.” While there’s no definitive reasoning for it just yet, the best explanation seems to be based on several factors. These factors include, physiology (age, hearing, ear-shape), speaker quality, and the quality of the recording. Another interesting thing about this phenomenon is, you can actually control which name you end up hearing.

Josh Beard of the “Nerd It Up” podcast was the first to discover that changing the pitch of the voice over, will affect which name you hear. So if you’ve been hearing “Yanny” over and over again, try increasing the pitch. This should allow you to hear “Laurel” instead. Likewise, if you can only hear “Laurel,” decreasing the pitch of the sound clip will allow you to hear “Yanny.”

So now that you’ve read about the latest internet debate, what’s your take on it? Do you only hear Yanny? Or are you team Laurel? Let us know in the comment section below.

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