White and Gold Dress (Or is it Blue and Black Dress?) Sparks Intense Viral Debate

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The Internet lost its collective mind over two unexpected topics yesterday.

First, llamas got loose in Arizona and the subsequent video of people trying to run these animals down caused a meme-based sensation.

Second, Tumblr user "Swiked" uploaded the following image of the following dress and wrote as a caption:

“Is this dress white and gold or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f-ck out.”

The Dress

And for the rest of the evening, nearly everyone on social media proceeded to freak the f-ck out right along with him.

Why did wives and husbands spend half their night arguing over the color of this dress? How can folks disagree over such a seemingly basic question?

According to Cedar Riener, associate professor of psychology at Randolph-Macon College, it’s likely due to how one’s brain interprets the light coming into one’s eyes.

"We are always making decisions about the quantity of light that comes into our retina,” Riener tells Buzzfeed, explaining:

“In the case of the dress, some people are deciding that there is a fair amount of illumination on a blue and black (or less reflective) dress. Other people are deciding that it is less illumination on a white/gold dress (it is in shadow, but more reflective).”

Each individual brings a different set of experiences and expectations to his or her sight, as well as attention levels and particular eye movements.

Talk to a cognitive neuroscientist and he or she will say that what you looked at prior to glimpsing the dress could play a role in what color you believe it is.

Weird, right? But enough science. Let's settle this once and for all... 


Stars such as Taylor Swift have even got in on this debate.

"I don't understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it's a trick somehow," she Tweeted on Thursday. "I'm confused and scared. PS it's OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK."

For the record: Mindy Kaling thinks it’s also blue and black, while B.J. Novak and Julianne Moore are on Team White and Gold.

Try not to file for divorce or disown your children are you enter into the fray. (THG NOTE: It's clearly white and gold. Come on!)

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