Yanny/Laurel conundrum: The science behind the confusing audio clip explained

Saul Bowman
May 18, 2018

The White House tally was posted on an Instagram and Twitter video. We see what you did there.

But, if you hear Yanny, that's all the higher notes.

But the internet did not rest on its yannys (or laurels. depending.) when it comes to media which plays tricks on the mind. He's Team Yanny, guys.

Just like the dress that surfaced online in 2013, which gave wind to the debate whether it's gold and white or blue and black, the two seemingly unrelated words "Yanny" and "Laurel" have been buzzing the internet lately.

Mr Trump alluded to his viral tweet a year ago that ended in the world "covfefe", before it was deleted.


Reddit user squidjeep posted the clip from DosmRider's video to Reddit, where it first went viral.

Vice President Mike Pence answers with a confused, "Who's Yanny?"

Poppy Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Labs in San Francisco, said the environment in which one listens, including whether headphones or a speaker are used, affects the intensity of the frequencies, and hence what one hears.

Researchers say those who hear higher frequency sounds are the ones who hear "yanny". If you hadn't been introduced to the possibility of hearing "Yanny" or "Laurel" you may not have heard either of these words. Sara, it's been reported you hear Laurel.

"There really isn't a true reality, there is only our perceptual reality", Crum said. Story also added that if you change the pitch of the original recording you can hear both words.

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