Pic: This is why the entire internet is talking about a dress 6 years ago

Pic: This is why the entire internet is talking about a dress

White and gold or is it blue and black?

Not since Bill Clinton's behaviour with a certain White House intern has a dress been so prominent in pop-culture but the internet hasn't seen such a split since the infamous Yellow Snack v Purple Snack debate of '03 and it's all because of a dress.


JOE's in uncharted territory when it comes to reporting on ladies fashion but stay with us.

Last week a woman posted a snap of this dress on Tumblr and never before has such a definitive black and white issue caused a million shades of grey.

To be clear, the dress is blue with black stripes but there have been various theories put forward to explain the different perceptions.

First, the photo is overexposed to light which has caused the colours to flare meaning certain people see it as white and gold. If you've ever taken a dodgy picture of an object using to much flash then you'll know this to be true.

What's unique about this image though is that it seems to have triggered a "perceptual boundary" which means that some of our brains are having more difficulty distinguishing between the illuminating and reflecting background colours.

Case in point.



This settles it.

The second argument is related to neural biology as JOE digs out our old leaving cert biology textbook. Light enters your eye through the lens as different wavelengths correspond to different colours. The light hits the retina in the back of the eye where pigments fire up neural connections to the visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes those signals into an image. The first ray of light is made of whatever wavelengths are illuminating the world, reflecting off whatever you’re looking at. Your brain instantly figures out what colour light is bouncing off the object that your eye is fixed on, essentially deducing that colour from the “real” colour of the object. The good people at Wired actually undertook a study to determine the red-green-blue composition of a few pixels to determine its colour. Dress2 So that's the colour issue settled but it didn't stop Twitter from having its say.