The question is seemingly a straightforward one: Do you hear Yanny or Laurel?
Yet the answer for the millions of people who have listened to the short clip since it appeared on Twitter on Monday is proving as divisive as the infamous gold and white dress debate of 2015.
The seconds-long soundbite has provoked intense discussion on social media as well as in offices and living rooms across continents, as people adamantly insist that their version is indeed what the synthetic voice is saying.
Academics have also offered a number of explanations for the baffling phenomenon. Theories range from the way our hearing changes as we age, to people’s brains being primed by seeing the written word first,…