Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Trump's White House tackles America's most divisive question: Laurel or Yanny?

Trump's White House tackles America's most divisive question: Laurel or Yanny?

"All I hear is the call of death's warm embrace", wrote Kate Aronoff, a reporter for the left-leaning In These Times.

A lot of people took to Twitter to reveal whether they heard Yanny or Laurel in the video. There's a simple explanation for why people perceive one thing so differently and science can explain it.

"More: 'Laurel" or "yanny"?

If you cut out the low frequencies with a High Pass Filter then "Laurel" becomes physically inaudible to hear, and you only hear "Yanny".

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In perhaps the most vexing element of the debate, the majority of listeners hear beyond doubt one of the two words, with few waffling between the two. Secondly, while the words are seemingly very different, they actually share very similar acoustic features.

"I hear both now", she said. Listening with headphones, speakers or on a laptop or smartphone will affect what you hear based on sound quality.

Researchers say those who hear higher frequency sounds are the ones who hear "yanny". So hearing Yanny might mean you have younger ears.

White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, counselor Kellyanne Conway and director of social media Dan Scavino are all on team #Laurel. Some Twitter users found it amusing, while other scoffed at it.

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