While our eyes can certainly play tricks on us, our ears can too. The new great internet debate is if you hear "yanny" or "laurel?" in a simple and robotic sounding audio clip.
It's fielded close to 600 comments on one reddit post and getting a lot of attention on Twitter, too.
What do you hear?! Yanny or Laurel pic.twitter.com/jvHhCbMc8I— Cloe Feldman (@CloeCouture) May 15, 2018
Before I get in to the science behind this, let me tell you that I heard "laurel" right away and could only hear "laurel." Nazzy heard "yanny" and only "yanny."
When the audio file is pitched down, I can hear "yanny."
Ok, so if you pitch-shift it you can hear different things:— Steve Pomeroy (@xxv) May 15, 2018
down 30%: https://t.co/F5WCUZQJlq
down 20%: https://t.co/CLhY5tvnC1
up 20%: https://t.co/zAc7HomuCS
up 30% https://t.co/JdNUILOvFW
up 40% https://t.co/8VTkjXo3L1 https://t.co/suSw6AmLtn
Now the science behind this trickery. Those that only hear "laurel" could be experiencing hearing loss. Seriously. According to Lars Riecke an assistant professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, older adults tend to start losing their hearing at the higher frequency ranges.
He says, "if you remove all the low frequencies, you hear "yanny." If you remove the high frequencies, you hear "laurel." There's a lot more science to all of it, or maybe no science at all. The bottom line is we all hear things differently.
Kind of like when you ask your husband to do the dishes and he hears you ask him to get to another level of Candy Crush.
What do you hear? Yanny or Laurel? Perhaps a more burning question...what does Yanni hear?
Fun fact . . After writing this article and hearing the clip again, I now only hear "yanny." I'm going back to bed.
I only hear Yanni ;) hahaha https://t.co/WrMMVvl8iX— Yanni (@Yanni) May 15, 2018