Kimmel explained to his audience that when he first heard it on the phone, he himself thought he was "sure" that he was hearing "Yanny". Some people saw a gold and white striped dress in a now viral photo, while others saw the colors blue and black.
People hear different sounds in different pitches, which is why the internet can not decide which word the recording is saying.
"I heard "Yanny", says WLBT news anchor Howard Ballou.
The acoustic information that makes us hear "yanny" is higher frequency than the acoustic information that makes us hear "laurel".
Finally, there's no doubt: the word is not "yanny", it's "laurel", as evidenced by the fact that it accompanies the Vocabulary.com listing for "laurel".More news: The Trump Tower meeting higlights: What you need to know
Dr. Nicole Rosen, an associate linguistics professor at the University of Manitoba, said she hears Laurel, but it depends mainly on the frequency people are hearing it.
"Watched this for 5 min and heard yanny.watched it 5 min later and I hear laurel".
So why do half of us hear one thing and half of us another? "And Laurel, I hear Laurel, and that sounds like very a low kind of deep voice".
Some people went as far as adjusting audio levels to try to get to the bottom of it, with some pointing out it could have to do with whether you can hear high frequencies. The question and words on the screen while you're listening also suggest what you could be hearing, having your mind fill in the gaps although the person really isn't saying either of those words. If you can't hear high freqs, you probably hear laurel.