A new audio clip where listeners either hear “Yanny” or “Laurel” has sent the internet into meltdown.
The clip, posted on Twitter on Tuesday has been retweeted more than 70,000 times, and had received more than 300,000 comments.
It has also been featured by the New York Times, BBC, CNN, the Guardian and many other major news outlets around the world.
What do you hear?! Yanny or Laurel pic.twitter.com/jvHhCbMc8I
— Cloe Feldman (@CloeCouture) May 15, 2018
And the internet is very much divided on whether it is “Yanny” or “Laurel” that they hear.
“How are y’all hearing Laurel? It clear as day says Yanny,” Lexy Rose tweeted.
In response, Domenic Zenga wrote: “They are saying they hear Yanny because they want attention,” Domenic Zenga replied.
Meanwhile, Ashley Barrentine said, “I hear Yanny but my dad and boyfriend hear Laurel I’m shook.”
“My wife and I just listened through my laptop speakers — she heard Yanny and I heard Laurel and now I feel like I’m living in a simulation,” Michael Weiss added.
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) May 16, 2018
According to Google Trends, Laurel was winning the debate.
But it turns out that there is a scientific reason why why we hear something differently, and it is all to do with hearing loss.
Speaking to The Verge, Lars Riecke, an assistant professor in audition and cognitive neuroscience from Maastricht University said that frequency is the reason why people hear the word differently.
According to Mr Riecke, the word Yanny is at a higher frequency than Laurel. As people get older and start to lose their hearing, they are unable to high ranges of a higher frequency.
In theory, this means that people with poorer hearing may only be able to the word “Laurel”.