In a masterstroke of turnaround time, the guys from AsapSCIENCE already took on the most beguiling phenomenon in recent Internet history, #TheDress, overnight. Although to be fair, overnight in Viral Internet time is the equivalent of Oliver Stone waiting until 2006 to make his 9/11 movie, so maybe not that big a deal after all.
In case you were salmon fishing in the Yemen last Thursday instead of anywhere near an Internet, everybody lost their minds because of a BuzzFeed post about a photo of a dress that appeared as different colors to different people. It was such a massive flash-phenomenon that the Saturday Night Live team felt compelled to reference it during both Weekend Update and a separate sketch about the Internet. Now the weekend is over, and YouTube’s premier science explainer duo have come to the rescue to reveal exactly why some people see white and gold where other people see black and blue.
In case you haven’t read any of the subsequent BuzzFeed posts trying to get to the heart of the matter, the Asap guys spell it out in a matter of minutes. Apparently, what’s at the root of the misalignment in perspectives here is a phenomenon known as ‘color constancy.’ Simply put, our brains are even weirder than we could ever imagine them to be. Now all we need is a video explaining how people continued to debate this topic on the Internet for something like 36 hours straight before something else distracted us. (“Shiny!”)