This viral TikTok post is the Yanny or Laurel of 2020

  • The internet is divided in a new debate over what people hear in a trending social media post
  • Instagram and Twitter are abuzz with people trying to decide whether they hear ‘green needle’ or ‘brainstorm’
Karly Cox |

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So what do you hear?

Remember the greatest of debate of 2018? We’re talking, obviously, about Yanny or Laurel. And it seems it’s about time for our ears to be messed with again, thanks to the latest trending audio illusion.

A video posted on TikTok by user @emilysophie.m has been viewed millions of times, and has got people around the world arguing over what they hear. According to the post, whichever of the two words you look at is the one you hear.

People have reshared the post on Instagram and Twitter, creating their own videos, or giving it as yet another example of how nuts 2020 is. After all, just this weekend, we also had the #spotthedog trending photo.

Actually, the audio recording first made the rounds of the internet in late 2018, a few months after Yanny/Laurel. It comes from a Ben 10 toy, with interchangeable figurines, and what you hear is actually one character’s catchphrase.

So if Yanny/Laurel was the #dressgate of 2018, and #shoegate was the Yanny/Laurel of 2019, what is this?

And most importantly, what do you hear?