PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s the dress that launched a thousand fights — maybe more.
“I had a group of friends over yesterday, and everybody was like, no it’s this color, and I’m like no it’s this color,” said one woman.
“My one friend saw it and he gave it to me, and was like what do you see? I was like, I see blue. and he was like, wow, I don’t see blue at all. It got a little rowdy,” said one man.
The debate started after a bride in Scotland posted a picture of her mother’s dress and no one could agree what color it was.
The picture started on Tumblr and spread to other social media sites from there.
Problems with the lens in your eye, nerves, medication and your brain can affect your color vision — but in the absence of disease, is it possible for different people to see the same thing but in different colors?
“I see black and purple,” said one man.
“Purple and gray,” said one woman.
“I see blue and black,” said another man.
“My guess is this occurs all the time, it’s only rare artificial circumstances that we notice it,” says Dr. John Guehl, an ophthalmologist at West Penn Hospital. “They’re taking what seems to be the same information, identical information and processing it a little bit differently. And it’s part of the continuum of what we see as normal.”
For you to see color, light rays enter the eye through the pupil and hit the back of the eye, the retina. Special nerve cells called rods and cones convert the light signals into electrical impulses which get sent to the brain. But then the brain does some fine tuning.
Turns out your brain tries to adjust for the surrounding light by downplaying the input from certain wavelengths, and that could change your perception.
“We’re inundated always by huge, huge amounts of information. The visual system is inundated with information, and the brain to some extent picks and chooses what it is,” Dr. Guehl continues.
So before you think you’re crazy, or someone else is crazy, remember color is in the eye of the beholder.
“The first time I saw it, it was yellow and black,” said one man. “Now I see it as blue and black.”
“So I looked at it earlier this morning, and I did see gold and white, but now you’re showing it to me, and I’m seeing blue and black. It’s very surprising I see something different now, so when you show it to me, I’m a bit taken aback,” said one woman.
The dress is actually royal blue and black.