What colour Is this dress?

Alright, so the world has seemingly become utterly divided on this dress. What colours do you see? On one side we have team Black and Blue - on the other, team White and Gold. We asked on twitter and got hundreds of responses for both white and gold and black and blue. For what it’s worth, we both saw black and blue and thought this was a massive prank at first. So how can it be possible for people to see it so differently? It’s a phenomenon known as colour constancy. Take this cube for example. The middle square on the top appears to be a shade of brown, while the one on the side looks much more orange. But in actuality, they are both the exact same colour. We promise we haven’t cheated here or done any trick photography. Instead our brain looks at the context, sees a shadow, and instantly thinks “Oh - shadows make objects appear darker”. And so the brain compensates and interprets the square as lighter than it appears. Until the shadow is taken away. Back to the dress, and we have a similar situation. Except here the context is very arbitrary - we’re so close up to the dress that we don’t really know it’s surroundings and the brain has to make assumptions. People who picture the dress as white, have brains which may be interpreting the dress in a blue-lit room, for example; as in, it’s a near a window, with a bright blue sky. It makes perfect sense then, that the white dress would be tinted blue and that the gold colour wouldn’t really change. On the other hand, the brains of people who see it as black and blue may be interpreting the dress in an artificially lit setting - with yellow lights. As a result, the brain see’s the gold as just a reflection off of the black, and believes that the blue has been unaffected. Chances are that this image just happens to be perfectly ambiguous to our brain, meaning it all comes down to individual perception and even how and where you view the image. From a factual standpoint, the dress is blue - in fact, here are some other pictures of it. But this is a beautiful example of how our brains have evolved to interpret the world around us, without us even realizing.

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