It's an optical illusion because of the way your dumb friend's eye is sending information about light to her dumb brain.
So you're telling me no one else sees pink and green? (via swiked)
If you haven't been following the international controversy about this dress, take a minute to catch up.
All you really need to do is ask yourself what colors you see: blue and black or white and gold? If you see white and gold first, relax. You're normal. Because that's what I saw first. I told myself that anyone who saw blue and black was a liar and a thug. I told myself I'd never change.
Then, while researching this important story, THE DRESS CHANGED COLOR.
Suddenly, I could only see it as black and blue! When I woke up this morning, it was back to gold and white and has since changed back to black and blue again. Is it any wonder people are freaking the eff out about this dress?
"I know how to conquer that planet. Let's release a confusing photograph and while they're consumed with it, we'll swoop in and invade."— Ben Greenman (@bengreenman) February 27, 2015
Anyway, the folks over at Wired have explained what's going on using some technical sounding language meant to put your mind at ease. First, they explain how our brains perceive color:
Light enters the eye through the lens—different wavelengths corresponding to different colors. 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. Critically, though, that first burst of light is made of whatever wavelengths are illuminating the world, reflecting off whatever you're looking at. Without you having to worry about it, your brain figures out what color light is bouncing off the thing your eyes are looking at, and essentially subtracts that color from the “real” color of the object.
So far so good. Your brain is trying to make things easier for you by using information about what kind of light you're in to tell you what color the dress is. But...
Usually that system works just fine. This image, though, hits some kind of perceptual boundary. That might be because of how people are wired. Human beings evolved to see in daylight, but daylight changes color. That chromatic axis varies from the pinkish red of dawn, up through the blue-white of noontime, and then back down to reddish twilight. “What's happening here is your visual system is looking at this thing, and you're trying to discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis,” says Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist who studies color and vision at Wellesley College. “So people either discount the blue side, in which case they end up seeing white and gold, or discount the gold side, in which case they end up with blue and black.”
In other words, based on what time of day your brain thinks it is in the photo, you'll end up seeing different colors.
I guess that makes sense...or it could be that it's just a really long gif?
Reddit also took a crack at explaining this strange phenomenon last night, which begs the question: can you decide what color something is by upvoting?
By the way, the dress actually IS black and blue (this is the post that finally made me see black and blue, so click only if you're willing to lose the ability to see gold and white). That is, if we want to continue to pretend that any colors ontologically exist.
"White and Gold." pic.twitter.com/X08tbaB4RB— Achilles Stamatelaky (@astamate) February 27, 2015