Yanny or Laurel? Even Scientists Are Stumped


After the entire Internet lost its mind trying to figure out if a dress is blue and black or white and gold, now there’s another debate: Yanny or Laurel?

A Reddit user shared a robot pronouncing a word and the world was divided: some heard it say Yanny, others heard it say Laurel. Before we delve into the scientific and correct answer, here’s users’ take on it.

Some people claimed that if you adjust the bass levels in a sound editor, you can hear both Yanny or Laurel.

Another video revealed that fiddling with the pitch leves might allow Yanny hearers to also hear Laurel.

But what do scientists say?

According to Brad Story, a professor of speech, language and hearing sciences at the University of Arizona, if you pass the Yanny / Laurel through a waveform detector, the answer is most likely Laurel.


Over at Gizmodo, a sound and audio engineer and a psychologist from the University of Chicago both say that it depends on who’s listening, while not taking any clear sides.

“The signal information is present for both words in the acoustics, but some people are listening to some frequencies and others are listening to other frequencies,” said psychologist Howard Nusbaum.

So far, the only “authority” to be definitely in Yanny’s camp is, of course, the musician Yanny.

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