The Internet Can’t Stop Arguing Over the Color of This BLACK AND BLUE Dress

February 26, 2015

11:28 pm

In case you’ve been disconnected from the Internet in the last few hours, you have have missed out on of the biggest debates of 2015: what color is this dress? The picture was first posted on Tumblr yesterday, and has since developed a fierce debate in the Internet community. The main point of contention: is this dress black and blue, or is it white and gold? Honestly, though, that’s a pretty idiotic point to argue, considering that this dress is CLEARLY black and blue (saying otherwise makes you wrong).


(via Tumblr)

From Gawker and MTV, to BuzzFeed and Wired, the Internet is all up in arms trying to make sure that their point of view is heard – with each side convinced that they’re right. Earlier this evening, BuzzFeed conducted a poll from its readers with the hope of finally determining the color of this BLACK AND BLUE dress, and it seems that many of the readers who took the poll are clearly deluded, with the majority seeing a white and gold outfit.


(via BuzzFeed)

All over social media, people have chimed in on the Great Dress Debate. Polling my own roommates, I quickly came to the conclusion that I live with a bunch of crazy people. I mean, the dress doesn’t even come in a white and gold variety, guys. So, for those of you arguing that the dress isn’t actually black and blue: you’re wrong.

But there does seem to be a bit of science behind all of this. Earlier this evening, Twitter user Andy Rexford had the following to say:

And in case you can’t read that, Andy writes:

“Your eyes have retinas, the things that let you interpret color. There’s rods, round things, and cones that stick out, which is what gives your eye a textured appearance in the colored part. The ‘cones’ see color. The ‘rods”‘ see shade, like black, white and grey. Cones only work when enough light passes through. So while I see the fabric as white, someone else may see it as blue because my cones aren’t responding to the dim lighting. My rods see it as a shade (white). There’s three cones: small, medium and large. They are blue sensitive, green sensitive, and red sensitive. As for the black bit (which I see as gold), it’s called additive mixing. Blue, green and red are the main colors for additive mixing. This is where it gets really tricky. Subtractive mixing, such as with paint, means the more colors you add the murkier it gets until its black. ADDITIVE mixing, when you add the three colors the eyes see best, red, green and blue, (not to be confused with primary colors red, blue and yellow) it makes pure white.

 – Blue and Black: In conclusion, your retina’s cones are more high functioning, and this results in your eyes doing subtractive mixing.

 – White and Gold: our eyes don’t work well in dim light so our retinas rods see white, and this makes them less light sensitive, causing additive mixing, (that of green and red), to make gold.

*UPDATE: to prove this theory I turned my phone brightness from the lowest to highest and sat it switching from white and gold (at the lowest) to light blue and darker gold (at the highest) meaning people that see blue and black are more sensitive to light (better eyesight and not looking at the sun like your moms told you.”

Wired also took a stab trying to pin down the reasons for why people see two different sets of colors, and it basically comes down to a similar conclusion: if you don’t see black and blue, then your eyes are whack. Sorry, weirdos!


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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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