When an audio clip of only one word is played, some people hear Yanny and some people hear Laurel. It is much like the dress debate that went viral in 2015 when some people saw black and blue and another group of people saw white and gold.

So, if people are looking at the same photo and listening to the same clip, why do people see and hear different things?

Everybody is talking

Everybody seems to be talking about the audio clip that has gone viral. It has been all over social media with people voting on what they hear. The debate first started on Reddit before it spread all over the internet and was discussed on all the daytime and nighttime talk shows.

So far, more people say they hear Laurel. Others have indicated that they hear Yanny. There are some people who insist they have heard both words. It seems to be a mystery, but scientists have explained why people are hearing two different words.

Scientific explanation

The explanation has come from different scientists who agree on the reason everyone doesn't hear the same thing. It doesn't mean one is right and the other is wrong. Brad Story, professor of speech, language and hearing at the University of Arizona explained it in a clear, concise, and believable way.

He said there is a science behind what people are hearing.

The scientists say it depends on the equipment people are using to play the audio clip. Professor Story is convinced that people might hear it a different way when they listen to it through their mobile phones, headphones, computers, or different speakers.

Lars Riecke, assistant professor of audition and cognitive neuroscience at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, believes frequency has something to do with what people hear.

He explained that Yanny has a higher frequency than Laurel. Like Professor Story, Professor Riecke agrees that the audio system playing the clip has a lot to do with what people hear. Riecke did add another factor. He said people hear things in different ways because of the mechanics of their ears.

So, which is it?

Even though people voted and if majority rules, then the answer is Laurel.

However, people who hear Yanny are sticking to what they hear. While there is no right or wrong answer, the best thing to do is to accept what the scientists say and move on until another debate turns up.

The debate has been about the color of the dress and hearing the word on the audio clip. That takes care of sight and sound. There are three more senses for people to debate. Don't be surprised if something comes up later involving smell, taste, and touch.

For the record, this writer saw the dress as black and blue and heard the word Yanny. What did you hear?