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Yanny or Laurel: The internet’s latest viral offering

A man listens through earphones.
A man listens through earphones.
Ian Waldie/Getty Images

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Following the “blue dress versus white dress” viral phenomenon that divided families and friends in 2015 comes another new perceptual headscratcher.

This time, it’s audio-based.

So is it Yanny or Laurel? Or both? Or something else entirely?

Since it’s the internet, a number of hot takes and analyses have been written over this auditory confusion. So why does someone hear Yanny, instead of Laurel?

We’ll dive in.


Bharath Chandrasekaran, auditory neuroscientist and associate professor of communications sciences and disorders at the University of Texas at Austin