Yanny or Laurel? Here's why everyone is hearing something different


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On Tuesday, the internet broke out into an all-consuming debate, dividing people into two camps: those who heard “Laurel,” and those who heard “Yanny.”

The dispute began when social media influencer and vlogger Cloe Feldman tweeted a simple question about a short piece of audio: “What do you hear?! Yanny or Laurel?”

From then on, like “The Dress” three years before it, the internet split itself in two. One group was adamant that the voice in the audio clip was saying, “Yanny.” The other group would bet their firstborn the voice was saying “Laurel.”

In a YouTube video, Feldman explained the post originally came from Reddit, and she then posted it to Twitter. The original Reddit post appears to have been uploaded by a user who goes by RolandCamry, who said the word originated on Vocabulary.com.

The original word on Vocabulary.com is “Laurel,” but according to a reply RolandCamry posted on Reddit, his sister heard the word “Yanny.”

However, Marc Tinkler, chief technology officer for Vocabulary.com, said a student in Georgia was the first person to notice the auditory illusion. Tinkler said the website started as a project for high school students and the fact that one discovered the now-viral phenomenon “makes us happy.”

Feldman and RolandCamry did not respond to interview requests from NBC News.

Poppy Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories, said a number of things are causing the divide in the great Yanny/Laurel debate.

First, there’s a simple explanation as to why some people hear “Yanny” and some people hear “Laurel.”



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