Remember back in 2015 when the internet was mind blown by this dress which was black blue for some and white gold for the others? A similar confusion is back, but this time people are trying to decide whether this viral audio file says Laurel or Yanny.
When you read the two words they do sound very far from each other, and make it hard to believe that one could sound like the other. And that’s exactly what’s freaking people out.
This audio file first picked up steam when a debate broke on Reddit, and the same has now made its way to social media.
What do you hear?! Yanny or Laurel pic.twitter.com/jvHhCbMc8I
— Cloe Feldman (@CloeCouture) May 15, 2018
Now I hear Yanny here, and for me it is impossible to imagine how it could sound like Laurel to anyone else. Let us know in comments below what you hear.
Yanny....I listened 10 times and cant figure out how anyone hears laurel — Kay◟̽◞̽ (@hazzasxinfinity) May 15, 2018
How are y’all hearing yanny it clear as day says laurel
— Divonte Wilson (@Wilson1Divonte) May 15, 2018
how are y’all hearing laurel? it clear as day says yanny — lexy rose (@imlexyrose) May 15, 2018
Interestingly, there are some users on the internet who claim that they heard one word for a while, and then eventually started to hear the other one.
On the other hand, a Twitter user found that you can actually hear both the words if you adjust the bass level of the clip.
you can hear both when you adjust the bass levels: pic.twitter.com/22boppUJS1
— Earth Vessel Quotes (@earthvessquotes) May 15, 2018
Personally, I am hearing Laurel in the above tweet. Good god this is mind wrecking!
I listened to this over and over again on headphones, and at first I could only hear Yanny, and then I could only hear Laurel. — Ashley (@polyaletheia) May 15, 2018
If I listen to music for 5 minutes I hear Yanny. If I don't listen to anything for a while I hear Laurel. I think it's your brain adjusting to frequencies.
— P r k n s c r t (@parkinscroat) May 16, 2018
And the wonder that the Internet is, someone found that by pitch shifting the audio clip you can hear a bunch of different sounds.
Ok, so if you pitch-shift it you can hear different things: 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 — Steve Pomeroy (@xxv) May 15, 2018
Playing with the pitches means I am still only hearing "Yammy" at the 40% end progressing all the way down to "Gary" at the lower end...
— Shelly M (@teckiemom) May 15, 2018
Fortunately there are voice investigation scientists, and we have a little perspective as to why this confusion is happening in the first place. The New York Times quotes Dr Jody Kreiman, a principal investigator at the voice perception laboratory at the University of California, saying that “the acoustic patterns for the utterance are midway between those for the two words.” “The energy concentrations for Ya are similar to those for La,” she said. “N is similar to r; I is close to l.” Hence, the muddle.