News Briefs

It’s the Audio Version of “The Dress”: Some People Hear “Yanny,” Others Hear “Laurel,” and You Hear the Voice of a Robot Demon Condemning You to Eternal Suffering

The internet is going crazy again, thanks to the most mind-blowingly controversial meme since “The Dress” that some saw as blue and others saw as gold. This time, the culprit is an audio file that some hear as “Yanny,” others hear as “Laurel,” and you hear as the voice of a demon condemning you to eternal suffering. 

Specifically, the terrifying, bass-filled voice from the depths of Hades says to you, and you alone: “YOU ARE DOOMED. STOP LYING TO YOURSELF. YOUR MISTAKES ARE IRREVERSIBLE, AND YOU CAN NEVER REPENT OR RECOVER. COWER IN THE FACE OF THIS GRIM REALITY.”


Take a listen for yourself:

The divisive file is coming between friends, couples, and you and everyone else in the world, not to mention your already-tenuous grip on sanity. Everyone who hears “Laurel” can’t believe anyone thinks it’s “Yanny,” and vice versa. You, meanwhile… well, you’re coming apart at the seams, and have been for some time.

Why do different people hear the file so differently? We spoke to linguist Andrew Burstein of the State University of New York at Gowanus, who explained: “This all has to do with the different frequencies in the file. Younger people and those with better hearing tend to detect the higher frequencies in the ‘Yanny’ portion of the recording, while older listeners and those who may have damaged their hearing a bit may lean more toward the lower tones of ‘Laurel.’ Finally, you—yes, you, [doomed reader]—are hearing a voice from the great beyond that, alone, unlike your friends, family, or lovers, is willing to reveal the horrible truth that a long string of mistakes and misfortunes has led you to the edge of a cliff, gazing down into a canyon of fire. You may not want to hear it, but the reality is that nothing is going to get better. That’s the basic explanation, linguistically.”

Neat. Science for the win!

This is definitely the most fascinating online reminder that perspective is everything since some people saw that dress as blue, others saw it as gold, and you saw an endless void representing everything you’ve ever done wrong and the impossibility of ever feeling joy again.