Yanny or Laurel? Ellen DeGeneres, Chrissy Teigen, and other celebs take sides on the great debate of our time

Chrissy Teigen and Ellen DeGeneres are both on Team Laurel. (Photo: Getty Images)
Chrissy Teigen and Ellen DeGeneres are both on Team Laurel. (Photo: Getty Images)

Does anyone remember what we did before the internet?

If you logged on to any device Tuesday, you probably devoted a chunk of time listening to an audio clip that says “Laurel”… or it says “Yanny,” depending on who’s listening. A Reddit user shared the debate-sparking clip over the weekend, and then on Sunday YouTuber Cloe Feldman threw out the question that ended up taking over many people’s afternoons today.

The Verge described the clip as an “audio illusion,” which is heard differently depending on the audio frequency. “Yanny” is at a higher frequency, while “Laurel” is lower. What people hear, scientists told the website, is partly determined by the audio system playing the word. A person’s ears also affect what they hear because older people might have a tougher time hearing the higher frequencies in “Yanny.” What you expect to hear plays a part too, said Bharath Chandrasekaran, a University of Texas at Austin professor in the department of communications sciences and disorders. He noted that the meme poses the question as “Yanny or Laurel?” — automatically setting an expectation for your brain.

Well, just like the rest of us, celebrities were fascinated and frustrated by what’s being called the 2018 version of #DressGate.

Let the battle rage on.

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