The Mysterious Dress

I’m sure you’ve heard of it. This dress went around the web in few hours only last Friday. The photo has originally been posted by a user on Tumblr, and many websites and social media platforms posted it at their turn. On this photo, the dress is just a dress; it looks like any other dress. The color of this dress agitates the web, not the dress itself. Bleu and black, or white and gold? Surprisingly, 9 out of 10 persons see bleu and black, while 9 out of 10 persons see white and gold.

Explanation? This would be the fault to our eyes and the interpretation of our brain. Too complicated to understand? Not necessarily. The human eye perceives constant light signals allowing us to see and distinguish objects, and via the optic nerve sends information to the brain in order to interpret. However, some people are more sensitive to the light intensity perceived than others. Take for example the snow. Some people will be completely blinded by the light that the snow returns, while others will have absolutely no problem to open their eyes. Well, here it is the same. Depending of the intensity of light that your eye perceive, colors of a dress may change.

The concept of color is very subjective. Of course the color red, for example, will remain the red color for everyone (except colorblind and others). But no one will see this color in the same way you do. The human body is one of the most complex thing in the world, if it is not the most. This is what makes us unique.

For those who see this dress blue and black, tutti va bene. In fact, the real dress was found and it is blue and black in reality. For others, do not worry and do not go to the ophthalmologist tomorrow

Thanks to this event, the website Buzzed recorded a record of attendance. More than 670 000 persons looked simultaneously on the article and over 16 million visits in few hours. This was also an opportunity for brands such as Durex or Pepsi to surf on the buzz and do advertising. The website is in french but the images are understandable.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. alinewbr says:

    This dress is a mystery ! Thanks to your post, I understand the phenomena ! Now, I can sleep like a rock 🙂

    1. marinemarcenac says:

      You’re welcome!

  2. gmarit says:

    Thank you for this explication and for the figures in this posts, which speaks a lot about the importance of this buzz. It just goes to show that even the most futile debates can travel the world.

    1. marinemarcenac says:

      Exactly! Today, I found that an association against the domestic violence used this dress to create a campaign. You can take a look here: http://abcnews.go.com/International/dress-illusion-challenges-violence-women-salvation-army-psa/story?id=29436804
      I think this a good way to talk about this dangerous and awful thing. With a buzz like this one, it is good to talk about topical facts as important as the domectic violence.

  3. yzhao18 says:

    Thanks for your detailed explanation for the different color we see the dress. Also, it’s interesting to have such a contradictory debate online and at the same time, it promotes the development of other related fields.

    1. marinemarcenac says:

      Yes this is interesting! I’m not in the advertising field but I can imagine how easy it is to rebound on a buzz like this one to promote your product.

  4. hridya01 says:

    It is interesting to see how something as futile as the color of a dress could create such a huge buzz around the world. A perfect example of the power of social media.

    1. marinemarcenac says:

      Exactly! I’m sure another buzz will be out very soon!

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