We’ve all heard of optical illusions, like “the dress,” which took the internet by storm in 2015. Some people saw it as black and blue and others saw it as white and gold. Now, an illusion of the ear is perplexing netizens.
Social media influencer Cloe Feldman posted a video to Twitter. People are hearing two different words, either “Yanny” and “Laurel.” The post, which appears to be originally from an Instagram story, prompts listeners to choose the word they hear. Clearly, the internet is divided.
While Feldman’s tweet has more than 2,000 likes and 1,000 retweets, the video previously was posted on Reddit Saturday by a user named RolandCamry.
The debate broke out among members of the Newsweek Slack channel Tuesday. Breaking News reporter Tim Marcin took a strong pro-Laurel stance, writing, “That just says Laurel. Do not come in here and try to change my entire worldview on a Tuesday.”
Culture reporter Anna Menta, perhaps conspiring with Marcin, responded: “omg I’m laughing so much he just very frankly says ‘laurel’.” Video staffers Sean Billings and Jessica Durham entered the debate, bringing the argument officewide, and leading Durham to change her Slack name to “YannyStrong.”
Among the “Yanny” supporters were Breaking News reporter Maria Perez and Breaking News editor Juliana Pignataro.
Newsweek staffers began sharing technological evidence of either side, such as a video which Twitter user Earth Vessel Quotes tweeted in response to Feldman, showing the bass altered to demonstrate how both sounds can be heard.
The debate was taken offline as Newsweek staffers began yelling about whether they heard “Yanny,” “Laurel” or both. Pignataro urged staffers to take a vote using Slack emojis. “Laurel” is winning by one point as of 4:43 PM ET.
Marcin posted a video to the Slack channel called “LAUREL- How to say it Backwards,” which he believes may have been the original source material.
The only result that can be confirmed is the sheer pandemonium that has erupted in the newsroom.