Theories behind why some people hear 'yanny' or 'laurel'

Cloe Feldman

The debate began on Reddit and expanded throughout social media.

Roland Szabo, 18, said he recorded the seemingly innocuous audio from a vocabulary website while doing a project for his school in the U.S. state of Georgia.

It's like a magic eye illusion, but for your ears.

The clip, posted on Twitter on Tuesday has been retweeted more than 70,000 times, and had received more than 300,000 comments. Hence, they may not have been primed to hear either Yanny or Laurel like English-speakers would have.

It's led to arguments for some couples.

Cloe Feldman
Cloe Feldman Verified account @CloeCouture

The device on which you hear the audio note also matters. "Yanny or Laurel", accompanied by a recording of a computerized voice, now what it is saying, we will leave it up to you to decide, because this recording has stirred a debate across the internet.

The US Department of Defense made light of the controversy on its Twitter account, with a photo of a US Marine Corps instructor berating a recruit: "I said it's #Yanny, recruit, not #Laurel!". "We hear something totally different". Ellen DeGeneres tweeted that everything at her show stopped to see what people heard.

Why isn't everyone hearing the same word? Says yanny and laurel at the same time.

"They are definitely trippin' because Laurel is what he's saying", another Laurel resident said. We've finally cracked the reason some people are hearing different things and what it means about you. The "Yanny" sound is of more high frequency and as you get older you lose your response to sounds of high frequency. "It feels very obvious what the answer is and that is part of how our linguistics system is designed for us - to just make a hardcore decision", said Walker. If you can hear high freqs, you probably hear "yanny", but you *might* hear "laurel".

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