Bridget Breaks It Down
Yanny or Laurel? Both are right!Here's why we're hearing different words -- and how this audio mind game all started.
The Internet has found another way to divide us. This time with a really weird audio file. Laurel. This is the sound that's driving people nuts. Some people swear they can only hear Yanny, others only hear Laurel. So what's going on here? Which is the right answer? And the answer is sort of both. There's a yani sound that's on the higher range of the spectrum and a laurel that's on the lower end. And if you change the pitch of the recording, it can help you hear one word more than the other. So what is influencing our brains to hear yani or laurel? There are a few things at play. One could be your own ears. If you have some hearing loss, you may not be able to pick up on the higher pitched yani sounds as easily. Yawny. Yawny. You can also be influenced by the type of speakers you're using. Something with deep base is gonna pick up laurel more. Laurel. Laurel. So I only heard yawny on my headphones, but then later at the office I heard laurel on speaker Speakers, and now my brain can go back and forth. So to find out if my brain is broken, I spoke with linguistic expert Abby Walker. She is an assistant professor and co-director of the speech lab at Virginia Tech. We think there are two things going on One is personal about the listener, and one is about the equipment that they're using. So essentially the main divide in what you're hearing is about how much information you're paying to the lower frequency versus the higher frequency sounds that are going on. And they're both there, so it's not kind of right or wrong to pay attention to one versus the other. But of course, there is another question. What is the original sound supposed to be? The New York Times traced the origin story and it's just a poor quality recording of the word laurel from the site vocabulary.com. Go to the page for laurel, and you'll find a sound file on how to pronounce it. Laurel. A high school student in Georgia was doing some schoolwork, and he recorded the audio coming out of his computer speakers, which totally muddied it up. And when you realize people were hearing two different things on his recording, he shared it online. It jumped from Instagram to Reddit to Twitter, and it just blew up. So before you start taking sides and breaking apart friendships, consider that everyone could be right Of course, some people don't wanna see both sides. Like this guy, he's all for team Yanni. Whatever. I'm Bridge Carrie. What did you hear when you first played it? And did it change for you over time? And while we're on the matter. The dress is obviously white and gold.