the-dress-blue-black-gold-white-sparked-debate
The two-tone dress, left, alongside an ivory and black version, made by Roman Originals, that has sparked a global debate on Twitter over what colour it is on display in Birmingham, England on February 27, 2015.  Joe Giddens—AP

5 Photos That Divided the Internet

Jun 07, 2017

It's not everyday the internet joins together on a vision quest, but some photos have the power to spark an internet debate. It's because of how people perceive things — especially color — differently.

Case in point: People are still talking about the instant viral phenomenon that's now known as "the dress." The infamous question of whether the polarizing striped frock was blue and black or white and gold garnered millions of hits and spurred passionate social media clashes. Now a study published in April by the Journal of Vision basically concluded that our different takes all boil down to one thing: the way each individual perceives the way light illuminated the dress differently.

While a new photo hasn't reached the dress's fame levels, here are five pictures that got the internet's eyes popping.

THE only dress that ever mattered

In February of 2015, Scottish musician Caitlin McNeill posted a photo of a washed out dress and a simple question: "Is this dress white and gold or blue and black?”

BuzzFeed staffer Cates Holderness put the user's original query online with a poll that prompted the citizens of the internet to lose its collective mind because each person was 100% certain of the dress’s true colors.

America's Dad or Sly Comedian?

Laura R. of Scotland originally submitted the photo in question to the parenting blog "Reasons My Son Is Crying" back in May 2013. The puzzling snapshot resurfaced in October 2016 and immediately divided the internet into two camps: some thought it was America's dad Tom Hanks, while others were convinced it was the elusive comedian Bill Murray.

He met Bill Murray.Submitted by: Laura R.Location: St. Andrew’s, Scotland

Posted by Reasons My Son Is Crying on Sunday, May 19, 2013

Super Shiny Legs or a Paint Job?

When Hunter Culverhouse posted a photo of legs to Instagram, the snapshot confused thousands on the internet. Some thought her limbs were splashed with white paint, and others saw very glossy, shiny legs.

Eye-Popping Arm Candy

When Taylor Corso from Mississippi shared a photo of her newly purchased Kate Spade handbag on Twitter in October 2016, the photo sparked a raging Twitter storm. Some were certain the handbag was blue and others saw it as white.

A Real Flip Flopper

More dissent on the color front. When Arthur Luppi De Nardi tweeted a shot of a pair of Havianas flip flops and asked "what do you see?" in Portuguese, the sandals got the freakout machine whirring again.

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