A voice recording originally posted on Reddit and was spread on social media sites is causing an online debate with two sides: “Yanny” and “Laurel.”
The original uploader, Robert Szabo, said that he heard the clip on vocabulary.com then recorded it and shared it to his friends. He also uploaded it on his Instagram story as a poll. It quickly went viral with various netizens commenting on what name they heard.
Listen to the clip below:
What do you hear?! Yanny or Laurel pic.twitter.com/jvHhCbMc8I
— Cloe Feldman (@CloeCouture) May 15, 2018
Speech and language experts say that what can be heard depends on the frequency and one of the factors of its confusing aspect is because of the poor quality of the recording.
“There’s just enough ambiguity in this fairly low-quality recording that [some] people are hearing it one way and some people are hearing it another,” Brad Story, the associate department head of speech, language, and hearing sciences at Arizona State University, told Vox.
Laurel can be heard when you focus on the low frequency while Yanny can be heard when the high frequency is picked up.
The online frenzy is said to be the 2018 version of #TheDress, a phenomenon that happened last February 2015 where netizens debated on the colors of a dress as either black and blue or white and gold.