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World of the Bizarre

Audio illusion has been baffling the Internet

By T.K. Randall
May 17, 2018 · Comment icon 87 comments

Do you hear 'laurel' or 'yanny' ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Marcus Quigmire
A simple audio clip of a word being spoken has divided listeners who can't agree on what the word actually is.
Have a listen to the audio clip below - do you hear the word 'laurel' or the word 'yanny' ?

Remarkably, some of those who have heard it swear that they can hear 'laurel' but not 'yanny', while others claim the complete opposite - insisting that the word is definitely 'yanny'.

The clip is a recording from a vocabulary website that was discovered by 18-year-old Roland Szabo.

When he played it back for his school classmates, none of them could agree on what the word was.
After he posted it online, the conundrum soon become something of an Internet phenomenon.

According to Poppy Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Labs in San Francisco, each person's interpretation of the clip will depend on their immediate environment and what hardware they are using.

"When there is more energy towards the mid and higher frequencies, people tend to hear 'Yanny'," she said. "When the low frequencies are more emphasized, people will hear 'Laurel'."

Other factors, such as gender and age, can also affect how the clip is perceived.

"There really isn't a true reality, there is only our perceptual reality," she said.



Source: Phys.org | Comments (87)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #78 Posted by Vlad the Mighty 6 years ago
Hardy.
Comment icon #79 Posted by Baldylocks 6 years ago
I would have liked to have heard this without the knowledge of the Yanny and Laurel, to see what I would have picked up. But with said knowledge, to begin with I heard Yanny, then I started to hear Laurel and that's all I hear now lol.
Comment icon #80 Posted by acute 6 years ago
It also depends on how good your hearing is. Although the original word is "laurel", more older people than youngsters will hear "yanny" because of their degraded frequency range. You can switch between Laurel and Yanny with a graphic equalizer.
Comment icon #81 Posted by Overdueleaf 6 years ago
I think my ears are broke because I heard neither....I clearly heard yellie each time I listened
Comment icon #82 Posted by Rlyeh 6 years ago
Jay Aubrey Jones, who's voice is the one recorded, states he's saying Laurel. https://www.npr.org/2018/05/20/612672766/the-voice-behind-the-laurel-or-yanny-recording-actor-jay-aubrey-jones
Comment icon #83 Posted by Vlad the Mighty 6 years ago
From the Guardian .. I hear covfefe
Comment icon #84 Posted by MissJatti 6 years ago
I heard yanny at first, then I played it again and heard Laurel in a robotic voice, now I hear both, but yanny is more clearer
Comment icon #85 Posted by AmandaASJ 6 years ago
To me it sound like  Gary. But only me. 
Comment icon #86 Posted by and then 6 years ago
I distinctly hear Laurel every time and my wife and daughter hear Yanni.  They seem quite pleased to swear each other up against me  
Comment icon #87 Posted by Ryu 6 years ago
Weird indeed. I listened to it for several seconds and while the ending sound seems more "L" like, the word almost sounds like "Yaurel". A combination of "Y" and "L". But as time goes by it seems the brain tries to filter the seeming incongruities but even then I am not entirely certain.


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