You may have noticed a set of footwear stomping all over your Twitter feed this weekend. It's not an ad. It's just the latest viral color feud. A pair of flip-flops turned into a social-media discussion point as Twitter users weighed in on whether the sandals' color scheme is blue and black or white and gold.
The Huffington Post tracked the origin of the flip-flops fight down to a tweet from a Twitter user named "arthur." The flip-flops furor echoes the famous "The Dress" incident of early 2015, when the internet erupted into a bubbling cauldron of opinions over whether or not a photo of a dress showed a black and blue or a white and gold frock. The sandals share the same color scheme.
I see the flip-flops and think, "It's obvious...they are blue and black!" But plenty of Twitter users beg to differ with me:
The flip-flops come from footwear brand Havaianas. I couldn't find that particular design for sale online, so we don't have a neutral reference photo for comparison. The company seems content to ride the wave of confusion, sharing the original photo on Instagram, but refusing to come down on one side or the other.
Not everybody is on board with one of the two main color schemes. Other people say they look gray, sky-blue or brown.
Scientists stepped up to explain "The Dress" phenomenon as a matter of how your brain sees and interprets photos. Room lighting, monitor settings and a lack of contextual visual clues can play into which set of colors you see. It's not worth discarding friends over. Unless your friend insists they're white and gold.