The debate is the latest audio viral sensation Laurel or Yanny- a debate started by two friends. It’s the most perplexing phenomenon since the great the dress debate of 2015.
This audio illusion is nearly MORE infuriating to the Internet than “The Dress” because how can two words that sound completely different when we say them out loud be so misheard?!
The answer is causing people to disagree about which name they hear.
“Some people think Laurel is the right choice to adopt, some think Yanny. All I hear is Yanny”, responded Sarah Sanders.
“One of the biggest things is, what kind of hearing loss do you have?”
In perhaps the most vexing element of the debate, the majority of listeners hear beyond doubt one of the two words, with few waffling between the two. This may explain why some people hear both Yanny and Laurel, and if the person’s ear moves between both high and low frequencies they’re likely to hear both words.
Several researchers agreed that the audio recording is just too ambiguous.
Adding to the conversation, Rory Turnbull, the professor of linguistics at the University of Hawaii, admits that the method in which our brains pick up on and interpret these frequencies effects how humans decipher and make sense of sounds. When she looked up the word on Vocabulary.com, the audio she heard said “yanny” instead. As the bass is adjusted, the word seems to shift.
With this one, what you hear depends on what you have in your mind at the time you watch it. Mediocre speakers don’t usually play both quality bass and treble.
But if you hear yanny, and you’re still confused as to how on earth anyone could hear anything different, you’re not alone. As far as I can tell, it originally appeared on Reddit. He explained that differently shaped ears focus sounds differently.
It’s worth remembering that while you most definitely hear Yanny, others, with equal conviction, hear Laurel.
But it turns out there is a reason we all hear something different and, unfortunately, it’s got a lot to do with hearing loss.