This Dress Is Breaking the Internet

People are deeply confused about what color it is
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2015 1:59 AM CST
Updated Feb 27, 2015 7:50 AM CST
This Dress Is Breaking the Internet
White and gold, blue and black, or maybe even blue and gold?   (Tumblr/Swiked)

Is it white and gold—or blue and black? A picture of a dress uploaded to Tumblr has created what Gawker calls "an Internet schism that may never be healed," with the opposing sides unable to fathom each other's view of the dress. At BuzzFeed, the white and gold side is leading heavily in a poll—and its story on the dress "drew more visitors to [the] site at one time than ever before" (at one point, more than 300,000 were reading the dress post; it's up to 23 million views). More:

  • Assorted experts have weighed in to discuss the effects of the poor lighting in the photo and the peculiarities of color vision. "It is yellow and gold in this lighting," an ophthalmologist tells Mashable, explaining that "scientifically it has to do with the lighting and reflectivity of the material."
  • A neuroscientist also in the white and gold camp tells Wired, "Our visual system is supposed to throw away information about the illuminant and extract information about the actual reflectance. But I've studied individual differences in color vision for 30 years, and this is one of the biggest individual differences I've ever seen."

  • Scottish musician Caitlin McNeill, 21, started it all by posting the image on Tumblr. She explains the back story to Business Insider: "Two of my close friends were actually getting married and the mother of the bride took a photo of the dress to send to her daughter. When my friend showed the dress to her fiancee, they disagreed on the color."
  • And in an example of how odd the Internet can be, the Tumblr McNeill posted it to is a fan page she has on talent manager Sarah Weichel, who BI says represents a number of YouTubers. Says Weichel, "The crazy thing is, I actually have nothing to do with the post. It's literally just a fan account of me, so my name and my photos are all over the account."
(More dresses stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.