Laurel vs. Yanny, explained

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a massive global debate prompted by a simple one-word audio recording that different individuals perceive to say different things. Apparently, Twitter data finds that 53% hear the word “Laurel” and 43% hear “Yanny.” It provides an interesting lesson in audiology and perception. According to people smarter than this writer, the reason people perceive the recording differently comes down to the fact that we live in different bodies. Differences at any point along the path from the outer ear to the brain can lead to changes in perception. Differences might include the size of your ear hole (that sounds dirty, amirite?), to the positioning of your ossicles (middle ear bones), the condition of your ear drum, and even the thickness of your skull. Wuuuut? In the case of Laurel vs. Yanny, the theory is all these lead to a person being more inclined to perceive either the lower register of sounds (Laurel) or higher register (Yanny). For the record, the correct answer is Laurel. Trust me.