We couldn't find an exact consensus on what the word actually is. The clip itself isn't anything spectacular, it's just the word "yanny" being said in a high-pitched voice... or is it the word "laurel" being said in a low-pitched voice?
Several factors appear to be driving this viral debate of the moment, according to audiologists at Salus University and Main Line Health.
This is why two people could be sitting together listening to one device and still hear different things. But first, the backstory for those who have no idea what we're talking about. The New York Times tracked the meme back to Roland Szabo, an 18-year-old Georgia high school student.
The controversy recalls the similarly impassioned debate that broke out over the #TheDress: in 2015 a photo of a two-toned frock had social media users tearing their hair out over whether its colours were white and gold, or black and blue.
Crum also said another influence on people's perceptions is the device they listen to the sound on.
Any spoken word is made up of a variety of sounds at different pitches, or frequencies. "The perception of 'Laurel" is experienced when the lower frequency information is dominant in the experience". It's a stronger sound, with more bass.
The low quality of the recording does not help, she added.
For the past 24 hours it has been doing the rounds and confusing everyone.
The word "Yanny" sits around that infamous 20kHz level, which means people who hear "Yanny" have more sensitive hearing in upper ranges, compared to those hearing "Laurel". When I showed him the two words, he definitely sided with Yanny. "Then your brain picks what it wants to hear and some people hear Laurel and some people hear yanny", explains Dr. Heath. A triumph of grizzled experience over callow youth? Of more than 20 votes, 75 percent say it's "Laurel". Perhaps Dawkins really heard "laurel" in the recording.
"I was born and raised in Laurel".