“The dress” splits world at the seams

by Jessica Mcnut

mcnuttje@mnstate.edu

On Thursday social networking feeds were taken over, frustration clouded the Internet and the world had drastically been divided into two groups: the Blue and Blacks and the Gold and Whites.

Millions have proclaimed their undoubted and stubborn opinions, from celebrities to politicians. But the answer to “What colors are this dress?” is still unanswered for some.

Katie West, Brady Hand and Kelly Rentfrow, all freshman at MSUM, see the dress as black and blue.

Even when shown a picture of the dress in three different lightings, West, Hand and Rentfrow still only see their picks.

“I see the dress as black and blue,” Hand said. “People who see white and gold are color blind.”

Billie Windfeldt and Paige O’Hara, also freshman at MSUM saw the dress as white and gold. Windfeldt argued without a doubt.

“I don’t understand how people think it’s black and blue,” Windfeldt said. “White and gold all day.”

But some people, like junior JC Cervenka and senior Molly Jeska have seen a mixture or both.

“I saw blue and black right away when I looked at it, and then the more I look at it I see gold and white,” Jeska said.

Cervenka said he can no longer see white and gold at all, but sees blue and gold.

So why the divide?

According to David Williams, a vision scientist at the University of Rochester in New York, there are specific reasons people see the colors they do.

Williams said the brain is always confronted with a problem. When looking at an object, the light the eyes see from the object depends on how the object is illuminated and its intrinsic properties.

According to Williams, light is made up of different wavelengths, which the brain perceives as color. People see different colors because when light enters the retina, it activates cone cells that are sensitive to red, green or blue wavelengths. These determine what color people perceive the dress to be.

Another major factor in the debate is the dress’s background. Since the picture provided little information about the background, people weren’t able to compare the dress to its surrounding colors as easily.

But despite the many arguments as to what the actual color of the dress is, it is indeed blue and black. Perhaps now friendships can mend after this intense international debate.

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