The curse of the white and gold (or blue and black) dress returns to the internet, this time in GIF format.
This animation of pylons jumping rope was created by @IamHappyToast in 2008 as part of a Photoshop challenge on b3ta.com (great handle by the way), and today, Twitter is rife with reports of users claiming that they can hear a “thudding” or “boinging” noise accompanying the GIF.
If this GIF makes a noise for you, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’ll start hearing voices next. One Twitter poll concluded that 70 percent of people can indeed hear a thudding sound. Another 23 percent say they can’t hear anything at all, and the remainder said they experienced something different all together.
Experts say this auditory experience is not a sign that anything is wrong with you, so you get off WebMD now. Hearing a noise in this case may be a form of synesthesia, which is essentially a cross-wiring of sensory inputs to your brain. Synesthesia accounts for why some people associate certain colors with specific sound stimuli, for example. Another theory is that your ears automatically close up, preparing for a loud noise, and it’s the closing up that you’re hearing.
Some users have speculated that the power of suggestion is at work here, saying that once you start listening for a sound, you can’t unhear it.
Questionably audible GIFS are nothing new to the internet, but this one is particularly persuasive. Whether you hear anything or not, we can all agree that pylons jumping rope is unexpectedly adorable.