The internet has been divided into two warring tribes by a picture of a dress functioning as an accidental colour perception experiment.
#TheDress, as it has become known, was spotted by a blogger who turned to Tumblr for help when the garment started an argument among her friends.
“Guys please help me — is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f*** out,” Swiked wrote.
Buzzfeed picked up the post and the freaking out has spread worldwide as the #blackandblue team failed to understand how the #whiteandgold team were looking at the same photo.
Even celebrities waded into the argument – a “confused and scared” Taylor Swift is firmly on the blue and black team, Anna Kendrick believes the opposite and Kimye can’t agree. A straw poll of The Independent’s office came out on the blue and black side although it was a close call – and pretty heated.
Essentially we are all individually wired to see the dress in different colours and squinting, changing brightness and switching computers will do nothing to help you.
i actually took the time to research this so here's the real reason behind the dress written by yours truly. pic.twitter.com/kJr1oCvlGs— kaeIyn♛please calum (@rebelashton) February 27, 2015
As Wired helpfully explains, different wavelengths of light that correspond to different colours enter our eye through the lens and hit the retina, where pigments fire up neural connections to the visual cortex, allowing the brain to form those signals into an image.
Our brain intuitively filters out backgrounds and lighting in order to see the “true” colour of an object but the bluish tint of the photo is affecting that ability.
“What’s happening here is your visual system is looking at this thing, and you’re trying to discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis,” Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist, told Wired. The effect comes from much the same place Yep, this is also a still image The trick comes from the way that our brains scan images over and over The effect comes from the way that the brain receives different parts of the image at different times
These aren't moving either
And neither is this
These circles aren't moving
There's only two colours in this picture
The effect comes from much the same place
Yep, this is also a still image
The trick comes from the way that our brains scan images over and over
The effect comes from the way that the brain receives different parts of the image at different times
“So people either discount the blue side, in which case they end up seeing white and gold, or discount the gold side, in which case they end up with blue and black.”
I don't understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it's a trick somehow. I'm confused and scared. PS it's OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 27, 2015
What color is that dress? I see white & gold. Kanye sees black & blue, who is color blind?— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) February 27, 2015
Dress controversy... VIOLET and BLACK! Obvs. https://t.co/uQLbu9km5G— James Franco (@JamesFrancoTV) February 27, 2015
And for everyone asking I see blue and black— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 27, 2015
The dress is Teal.— David Duchovny (@davidduchovny) February 27, 2015