The dress dividing the Internet: Is it black and blue or white and gold?
Published Friday, February 27, 2015 6:24AM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 27, 2015 1:12PM EST
Is the dress black and blue or gold and white?
While the squabble might rage on, the verdict appears to be in – it’s a blue-and-black dress drenched in golden light.
The question took hold online Thursday night, after one user posted a photo of a dress on the social networking website Tumblr.
The dress in question was worn by the mother of the bride at a wedding in Scotland. The photo, taken earlier this month, was put online by wedding guest Caitlin McNeill, who asked for help settling a debate about it.
She posted the photo of the dress and wrote: "guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friend can’t agree and we are freaking the **** out"
The picture, which divided the Internet in two, is a sort of “colour constancy illusion,” explained the experts from Reddit’s “Ask Science” subsection in this thread.
The way a person interprets the dress has to do with the way their brain sees the room’s lighting. With limited information, some people might see a light-coloured dress made darker by a bluish shadow, while others see a dark dress made pale by bright light -- as illustrated by this Reddit sketch.
Other examples of similar illusions can be found in this checker shadow illusion or these brain-breaking interactive examples that trick your eyes into seeing the same shade of grey as two completely different colours.
The photo editors at Wired also said, based on their analysis, the dress is definitely blue. The team broke the colours down, showing the shades of blue and brownish-black found in the picture. They also included two white-balanced images to help illustrate both sides of the debate.
And if you’re still stubbornly insisting the dress is white and gold, take it from the original poster of the controversial photo. Here is a shot of the dress being worn at a wedding in all its blue-and-black glory:
On Thursday morning, #TheDress was still trending on Twitter, with users sharing the photo and arguing about its true colour. Several insisted it's a hoax, while others talked about the arguments a garment could cause.
Celebrities took to Twitter too, venting about the dress and declaring which side they were on.
I don't understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it's a trick somehow. I'm confused and scared. PS it's OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 27, 2015
And for everyone asking I see blue and black— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 27, 2015
If that's not White and Gold the universe is falling apart. Seriously what is happening????— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) February 27, 2015
I find it ironic that Kim K got naked to break the Internet and it was a dress that did it.— josh groban (@joshgroban) February 27, 2015
NASA offered a deeper tweet than most.
While others were burned out by the whole experience.
I am going to bed now. Maybe when I wake up nobody will be talking about #TheDress anymore. Tomorrow is another day. A girl can hope.— Jennifer Tilly (@Jtillathekilla2) February 27, 2015
Thanks a lot dress. You've made me ashamed of the internet. I hate you.— Liam McIntyre (@Liam_J_McIntyre) February 27, 2015