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Why Can Some People Hear This 'Silent Gif' But Others Can't?

By Darragh Berry

May 14, 2018 at 3:11pm


If something or someone is memorable enough than it only takes one or two words to explain it. 

So when we ask you what colour you thought 'The Dress' was, you know exactly what we're on about straight away.

'The Dress' broke the internet back in 2015 when it appeared online. Some people thought it was black and blue, others thought it was white and gold. 

We couldn't get our heads around it but it looks as though the 2017 version of The Dress' is here and has come in Gif form. 

The Gif was created by HappyToast and while a small minority don't hear anything (rightly so, it's a silent Gif after all) around 70% of those who have watched it admitted to hearing either a 'thud' or 'boing' sound as the pylon hits the ground. 

So, can you hear it? Or are you the small percentage of people who think that the public have lost their minds and are now hearing things?

Well, if you can hear it, psychologists believe to have an explanation as to why.

If you studied psychology in college, The McGurk Effect might sound familiar to you and is responsible for the 'noise' that people hear from the silent Gif. 

The effect happens when audio from one sound is paired with the visuals of another sound leading us to hear a different result entirely. 

Take the below video for example. It's from a BBC Horizon clip titled "is seeing believing?".

The video shows a man saying the word 'baa' like a sheep. Then, the screen is split and the same man mouths the word 'faa' silently.

While we still hear the 'baa' sound if we close our eyes or look at the original picture, if we look at the other picture, we instantly will hear the word 'faa' despite the audio not being played. 

Confusing, yes but the video will help you understand more.

If the video doesn't play, you can also find it here.

READ NEXT: The 10 Most Shared Tweets Of 2017 Teach Us So Many Valuable Life Lessons


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