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 fuck out
The fact that an image of an ugly dress could create an online battle is insane, but it’s hilarious nonetheless.
What started as an innocent question turned into a color war that’s lasted for over 48 hours. Many on social media have been arguing about whether the picture depicts a dress as blue with black lace fringe or white with gold lace fringe. And neither side is willing to budge… that is…. until they look again and the image changes color!
The dress even went ‘hip-hop’ when QuestLove got in on the fun, posting the dress several times on instagram stating:
That being said, there is no debate. Everyone saw what they were supposed to see and it’s all totally scientifically explainable.
Wired.com explains the situation as follows:
Light enters the eye through the lens—different wavelengths corresponding to different colors. The light hits the retina in the back of the eye where pigments fire up neural connections to the visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes those signals into an image.
Critically, though, that first burst of light is made of whatever wavelengths are illuminating the world, reflecting off whatever you’re looking at. Without you having to worry about it, your brain figures out what color light is bouncing off the thing your eyes are looking at, and essentially subtracts that color from the “real” color of the object.
“Our visual system is supposed to throw away information about the illuminant and extract information about the actual reflectance,” says Jay Neitz, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington.
“But I’ve studied individual differences in color vision for 30 years, and this is one of the biggest individual differences I’ve ever seen.” (Neitz sees white-and-gold.)
Usually that system works just fine. This image, though, hits some kind of perceptual boundary. That might be because of how people are wired. Human beings evolved to see in daylight, but daylight changes color.
That chromatic axis varies from the pinkish red of dawn, up through the blue-white of noontime, and then back down to reddish twilight.
“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,” says Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist who studies color and vision at Wellesley College.
“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.” (Conway sees blue and orange, somehow.
In ‘REAL LIFE’ the dress is really Blue with Black lace trimmings:
It’s the color correction in the photo that makes our eyes ‘adjust’ to the colors appearing White and Yellow. (If you go and look at the original photo now, it’s probably changed colors 😆 Dontcha just love science!?)
Questlove finally found out the truth too and posted his own take on the dress debate…