An internet divided does not stand! Except in this case, it probably does.

A viral, four-second audio clip is driving the internet bananas. What do you hear, Yanny or Laurel?

What accounts for hearing different the words?

According to National Geographic:


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“The reason it can be confused is that there is a family of frequencies produced by the shape of our throat and mouth.”

The three lowest frequencies are used to encode language as a sound wave. The third frequency distinguishes between l and r. This frequency is high for l, like at the beginning and end of “laurel,” and low for r, as in the middle of “laurel.”

Another reason may be how you’re listening to the clip. If, for instance, you’re listening on computer speakers, you may hear “Laurel,” but if you’re listening with ear buds or through a smartphone speaker, you may hear “Yanny.”

The audio clip itself is not the greatest quality, so our minds make up for the gaps we don’t hear.

Or, as some industrious audiophiles have pointed out, you might hear one or the other due to age and how well you hear high frequencies.

Because we tend to lose our ability to hear higher frequency sounds as we age, younger folks will most likely hear “Yanny” and older folks “Laurel.”

Now that that’s cleared up, we can all get back to drumming. You hear?

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