Laurel or Yanny? The Audio Explained
Because the internet apparently needed another thing to fight about, social media has once again begun to divide the online masses.
Twitter's newest war revolves around seeing — or in this case, hearing — the same thing but with two drastically different outcomes. In a now-polarizing audio clip posted on Reddit before quickly spreading to Twitter, some people hear "Yanny" while others hear "Laurel," and almost no one can concede to the other side.
There is, however, some science behind the madness: Brad Story, Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing at The University of Arizona, told CBS Boston that the confusion boils down to the low quality of the recording.
“It’s not a very high quality. And that in itself allows there to be some ambiguity already," he explained. "When I analyzed the recording of Laurel, that third resonance is very high for the L. It drops for the R and then it rises again for the L. The interesting thing about the word Yanny is that the second frequency that our vocal track produces follows almost the same path, in terms of what it looks like spectrographically, as Laurel."
In other words, Story concluded, "If you have a low quality of recording, it’s not surprising some people would confuse the second and third resonances flipped around, and hear Yanny instead of Laurel," but "most likely the original recording was Laurel."